When I booked my short break to Edinburgh, the first thing I decided I needed to do was to book a table somewhere for my first night. I had been researching eating establishments for quite a while and came across Contini - an Italian-Scottish family-run business with three locations around Edinburgh (all of which I ended up visiting) - their original Italian restaurant on George Street, the Scottish Cafe and Restaurant at the Scottish National Gallery, and Cannonball in an old tenement building at the entrance to Edinburgh Castle.
Downstairs is the Cannonball bar where I was able to get a fantastic Negroni, with the main restaurant upstairs. The bar area is very traditional - lots of wood, leather, and comfy chairs. The restaurant upstairs is quite contemporary with a light and airy feel thanks to the very high ceiling and numerous large picture windows.
I would say the menu is a modern twist on traditional Scottish fayre, with the ingredients sourced locally.
My starter was the Cannonballs - three mini deep-fried haggis (haggi?), with pickled turnip, and Glenhoyne 10yo whisky and Seville Orange marmalade.
My main was the pork belly, with pulled pork croquette, black pudding crumble, roasted new potatoes, and broccoli, which was accompanied by a lovely glass of Picpoul. De Pinet.
My dessert was the rhubarb with milk ice cream, rhubarb crisp, brown meringue, and spiced breadcrumb.
All of the food was very well done - my only criticism would be that the pork belly needs crackling.
The service was very good personally, though I did note that a couple of other customers seemed to have servers who were a little on the clumsy side, though everyone was very friendly and efficient. It was quite amusing listening to one of the servers trying to explain what Irn Bru was to the German or Dutch couple sat at the next table.
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