|Value for money|
I wrote the review below as an honest summary of the night I really enjoyed in Veritas, so I was disappointed when I revisited the restaurant recently and had a sub-par experience.
I took my daughter and her friend for dinner and have to say there really wasn’t a single good course. The tempura batter on both the soft shell crabs and the vegetables was heavy, soggy and greasy. As main courses we had penne with a tomato sauce, ravioli and prawns. The penne was really very ordinary, the pasta on the ravioli was far too thick and the prawns were rubbery. I have adjusted our star-rating accordingly.
Judging by this second meal, I would recommend further research before you book.
I was delighted to be invited by Tony and Claudio of Zomato to join other food bloggers for an evening’s gastronomic tour of Italy and even more delighted by the transformation of this little restaurant from its previous incarnations – so much so that I’ve finally made up my mind where I’d like to go for my birthday!
The atmosphere for the evening was set simply by walking down the steps. Basement restaurants can often lack a certain charm, but the candles and hurricane lamps greeting diners on their way into the restaurant were welcoming and cheery, particularly on a cold autumnal evening.
We were seated in a private room at the rear of the restaurant, which was intimate without being cramped.
On to the main event – the food. We were served what was in effect a tasting menu, with starters of fried sage leaves, polenta crostini with liver and bruschetta with hot salami paste. The rich flavours of the liver were the perfect accompaniment to the polenta, each enhancing the other’s flavour. The hot salami paste had a real zing to it and really brought the taste buds to life, but unfortunately the fried sage leaves were a little oily for my taste – that said everybody else seemed to enjoy it, so perhaps it’s me that’s the problem.
This course was followed by gorgonzola focaccia. Although gorgonzola has quite a strong taste this was subtle rather than pungent – another winner.
The fish course(s) comprised of octopus soup, fried squid, soft shell crab in batter, razor clams and potato and octopus salad. I was particularly impressed by the octopus soup with small chunks of meaty, succulent octopus in a mild and slightly aromatic broth. The subtle flavour and firm texture of the octopus was an absolute joy in the potato salad, the razor clams were cooked to perfection and the soft shell crab was rich and flavoursome. I’m not a huge fan of fried squid, but would say it was cooked as well as I’ve ever had it so no complaints there, just not something I would have ordered.
The pasta course was light and flavoursome, with the spaghetti in tomato sauce being the highlight. The tomato sauce is apparently a recipe from around 1800 and the result was a flavour of fresh, light sweet tomatoes, rather than the cloying heavy sauces so often served. The ravioli with Italian sausage and aubergine was another delight – a meaty parcel wrapped with delicate pasta, although the robust flavours of rosemary in the chianti cooked risotto cooked were a little over powering for my palate.
The main course was veal with spek and parmigiano, crochette (potato cooked the Roman way), broccoli, and aubergine stew. Another lovely course with my only criticism being that the aubergine was a bit too spicy for me, but then I’m a “chicken korma” person, so what do I know?
Before dessert was served the heady aroma of cigars gently drifted into the dining room piquing our curiosity. This was the precursor to a homemade ice cream flavoured with cigar smoke, served with a dish of tiramisu. The ice cream was rich and velvety and the smoke flavour was warm and comforting. Again, you can’t please all of the people all of the time and tiramisu is just not my cup of tea. That said, again everybody else seemed to enjoy it, so that’s no criticism of the restaurant.
The wines served with the meal ranged from a fruity aromatic white to a light sparkling red and were a fitting complement to the dishes.
On the whole this is a great little restaurant with friendly staff and a relaxed atmosphere – I loved it!
Address: 8-24 Deanhaugh Street,EH4 1LY
Telephone: 0131 315 2860
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