Italian Salami Pizza - Pizza Posto

Pizza Posto

3rd August 2017 1pm

https://pizzaposto.co.uk/

In the site of the former beloved pizza joint Tutto Matto, Pizza Posto is in a perfect location just across from the Festival Theatre. With a stripped down menu, Pizza Posto offers just 8 pizzas, but wow were they tasty. I ordered myself the number 5 – tomato sugo, mozzarella, spicy Italian salami and olive oil. My friend chose the number 4 – nduja sauce, Tuscan sausage, Italian broccoli, mozzarella and olive oil.

Italian Salami Pizza - Pizza Posto

Italian Salami Pizza – Pizza Posto

The pizzas came out really quickly and were a good size. The tomato sugo topping was delicious and the large discs of salami were perfect. I would have liked a little less crust on my pizza, with the topping actually reaching the crust rather than a bit of empty base but that was really my only negative. On the other side of the table, my friend was also enjoying her pizza. The Italian broccoli wasn’t quite what she expected and felt like it was a cross between broccoli and spinach but thought it was tasty nevertheless. We both managed to polish off the pizzas, which indicated they were just the right size for a hearty lunch.

Tuscan Sausage Pizza - Pizza Posto

Tuscan Sausage Pizza – Pizza Posto

There are a few desserts should you fancy but we were full.

We enjoyed our trip but I did have one really bizarre negative. We were sat in the lower part of the restaurant and my seat was next to a cut out design feature in the divider part of the wall, which the speaker seemed to face, albeit at a bit of a distance. However, the way the sound travelled actually gave me a ringing ear, like I’d been to a gig, which lasted well over an hour after our visit. Weird. Anyway, don’t let that put you off, just choose your table wisely!

Food – 9/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere- 7/10
Value – 10/10

Overall – 34/40

Would I eat here again? Yup!

Cost £20 for two pizzas, a peroni and a Diet Coke

Bruscetta - La Favorita

La Favorita

24th May 2017 7.30pm

www.vittoriagroup.co.uk/lafavorita/

This was a long overdue catch up with fellow bloggers Emma from Vegan Edinburgh and Ann from A Quirky Lifestyle. We usually let Emma pick the venue as her requirements are a higher priority. She was shocked to hear that whilst I’d had take away from La Favorita, I’d not actually dined in. Ann hadn’t either, so this had to be rectified. I booked a table, and we were given the opportunity to give any dietary requirements and to let them know if the booking was for a special event. So we forewarned them that we had a vegan in our midsts.

It was a little hectic on arrival, with little space by the reception desk, which is situated after the bar area. Our table wasn’t ready so we sat in the waiting area for about 5 minutes or so before being seated. Once seated at our table, Emma double checked the vegan options (click here for the Vegan Edinburgh review) with the waitress. After scanning the generously sized menu, I went for the calamari fritti followed by a 10 inch Hawaii pizza (14 inch are also available). Emma chose bruschetta followed by the vegetariana but with vegan cheese substituting the standard cheese. Ann went for crocchette di merluzzo (fish cakes) and asked for a pizza recommendation from the waitress. She gave three options and Ann chose the Campione di Scozia. A G&T, Diet Coke and a cocktail were also ordered (the latter again on recommendation of the waitress).

When the first course came, they were in a variety of sizes. The bruschetta was huge and the fishcakes were small and my calamari fritti were somewhere in the middle. The fritti actually consisted of both baby squid and anchovies. The squid was nice, particularly when dipped in the garlic mayonnaise. However, I was a little disappointed with the anchovies as they were unbelievably salty. They also broke as you tried to pick one up, so it almost ended up as a salty, fishy crumb, which was a shame. The bruschetta was large so if you don’t eat it quickly the bread can become a little soggy. However, it went down well. I think just be mindful of portion sizes and balance it well with your choice of mains. The crocchette di merluzzo were also being enjoyed and the plate was cleared.

The pizzas followed shortly after and the 10 inch pizzas were definitely big enough after a starter. There was plenty of topping on my pizza and the flavours were really good. I love a good thin base and this was pretty decent. I couldn’t manage to finish it all though but had made a valiant effort. The Campione di Scozia pizza was generally well received but she found the cheese a little too much. She didn’t make as much headway with her pizza but was offered a take out box in order to transport it home, which she took them up on. The vegetariana was wolfed down. It appeared that the way La Favorita dispersed the vegan cheese as a topping has changed by using smaller cubes, making the pizza much more enjoyable. A thumbs up for the vegan option.

We were all way too stuffed to have dessert, but La Favorita offers some decent pizzas.

Food – 7/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 8/10

Overall – 30/40

Would I eat here again? Probably

Cost £63 for three starters and mains plus a cocktail, a G&T and a Diet Coke

Contini

Contini

22nd May 2017 6.15pm

www.contini.com/contini-george-street

I had been wanting to visit Contini for quite some time and a voucher from Itison allowed us to finally experience this place. Situated on George Street, Contini forms part of the Contini chain which includes Cannonball and the Scottish Café and Restaurant at the Scottish National Gallery. Our voucher included two starters, two mains, a side dish and two Venus Prosecco cocktails.

Venus Prosecco - Contini

Venus Prosecco – Contini

We were greeted warmly by staff, in the lofty, ornate venue, and taken to our table. When we took our seats, there were menus already on the table, so we got looking, only to be told that we were actually ordering from a different menu (which wasn’t stipulated on the voucher). They were still items from the normal al a carte menu but there was a much reduced choice which was a bit of a shame. We were given our cocktails – although the prosecco meant I couldn’t drink it but I had graciously forgone my non-alcoholic alternative so my friend could drink them both! The prosecco also had strawberry in it with lots of lavender scattered across the top, along with a flower. My friend found the lavender pieces a bit annoying whilst trying to drink the cocktail but overall enjoyed the flavour. We also got our food ordered – me opting for arancini followed by contandino, which is a creamy sausage pasta dish. My friend went for the pigs cheek carbonara to start and followed that with the beetroot risotto. We chose the pomodori (tomatoes) for our side.

Our starters both looked good, served in dishes so lovely I wanted to nab them. You could smell the wild garlic pesto that my arancini were sat in. The beautiful aroma wafted up to my nose and made me dive into the dish. The balls themselves were soft, with the rice cooked perfectly and the cheese giving it nice flavour. I have to say I was a little envious of the dish on the other side of the table as it looked amazing, made with one of my favourite pastas (trofiette). However, my friend did not enjoy it so much. She felt a little misled by the pigs cheeks as this wasn’t the braised type more frequently served in the UK, but was more like lardons. This would have been ok in itself but due to the cut, she found it a bit chewy. She also found the dish a little salty for her palate but was probably to be expected considering the elements of the dish.

The mains also had a visual impact. Mine looked utterly comforting but my friend was weirdly shocked by the bright colour of her risotto (I am really not sure what she was expecting as it looked as I thought it would). My pasta dish was made from orecchiette and was sitting in a creamy sauce with Italian picante sausage, porcini mushrooms, rocket and a parmesan tuille. This dish was beautiful from start to finish. Everything had incredible flavour, from the sausage to the mushroom through to the parmesan. I am led to believe this hasn’t been off the menu since the day they opened, and frankly, I am not surprised. Across the table from me, my friend found the risotto needed more in it to break it up a bit as it became too samey as she went on. I think both of us have decided not to pick risottos in restaurants any more as this is often a problem. I did have a quick try of the dish and the taste was good, so if you don’t mind the lack of variety on your plate, this could still work as a dish. The side of tomatoes were lovely. Balsamic vinegar was drizzled over them and the little basil leaves were a perfect match, as you would expect.

With me looking like the cat who got the cream with my chosen plates of food and my friend not so, we decided to see what desserts brought. These weren’t part of the voucher deal so paid full price. I was toying between the bomboloni and the chocolate mousse, so asked our server for her recommendation. She said bomboloni with such speed that I thought she was actually clarifying that was what I said, when in fact she just was incredibly certain that this was the dessert to try, so that had me sold. My friend went for the limone, which was a lemon cream which came with meringue. My dessert consisted of three small, round, warm, sugared doughnuts with a dish of chocolate sauce. The doughnuts weren’t the lightest I’d ever had but that didn’t stop them from being yummy. The chocolate sauce was good, although I would prefer mine a little thicker than perhaps traditionally served. On the other side of the table, the dish was quite creamy and could have been a little smaller. I had a taste though and it was full of zing.

This meal was different for the two of us – me really enjoying it and my friend not as much, although she did admit it was partly down to the menu choices she made.

Food – 7/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere – 7.5/10
Value – 7.5/10

Overall – 31/40

Would I eat here again? I would, but with a different dining companion!

Cost £39 with the voucher plus £10 for the desserts but would be closer to £65 full price.

Origano

Origano

21st March 2017 6pm

www.origano-leith.co.uk

A friend recommended Origano quite a while ago and we finally got round to venturing in. Situated on Leith Walk, this restaurant has quite a romantic feel, beautifully lit with candles (although they do take up a large amount of the table). We had a look at the menus but also spotted some antipasto platters listed on the wall. When the waiter came to take our order, we asked whether a small or large plate would do as a starter to share between two and he suggested a small one would be sufficient, which was a nice, honest answer. We then were greedy and ordered a pizza each. Their smallest size is 11 inches but also offer a 14 and 16 inch for those with larger appetites or wishing to share (all 14in are available gluten free too). I opted for a calabrese pizza and my dining companion went for the gambero piccante.

Origano

Origano

The sharing platter arrived and the waiter was right about the size. This was perfect to share as a starter. The platter included baby mozzarella, santos tomatoes, bresaola, salami milano, coppa, parma ham, speck, rocket, grana padano, red pesto, garlic butter, mixed olives, sun-blushed tomatoes and warm focaccia (phew!). The whole lot was absolutely delicious. I think we both struggled to identify a favourite part as we enjoyed it all so much. A larger version would be good if you didn’t want pizza. I could happily have a small one to myself for lunch too.

Antipasto Mixed - Origano

Antipasto Mixed – Origano

Pizzas arrived and only just squeezed onto the table. I think you would struggle to fit them on if you had larger pizzas. They both had generous toppings. My calabrese was lovely. The spicy sausage was a little salty for my palate but still tasted good, with enough heat through it to give a delicate tingle to the mouth. I’d never had mascarpone on a pizza and really enjoyed this. It wasn’t overkill on top of the mozzarella, which was a pleasant surprise. The pizza also had a great crispy base. On the other side of the table the gambero piccante pizza also enjoyed. My friend enthused about the amount of topping on her pizza and seemed really satisfied with it.

Origano offers good value, tasty food in a lovely environment. It is definitely worth a visit.

Food – 9/10
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 33/40

Would I eat here again? Most definitely.

Cost £36 for one sharing platter, two pizzas and two diet cokes

Tandoori Chicken Pizza - Croma

Croma

23rd November 2016 6pm

www.cromapizza.co.uk/restaurants/edinburgh

Many moons ago I used to frequent the Manchester branch of Croma on a pretty regular basis, with the tandoori chicken salad being a favourite. Having taken so long to visit since living in Edinburgh, I wasn’t sure if it would resemble my memories. Situated on Lothian Road, this branch of Croma is attached to the Odeon, which creates a strange dining space as there are stairs down to the cinema in the middle of the restaurant. However, as we were heading to the cinema anyway, it was the perfect location. Croma offers a very reasonable pre-theatre menu which offers a starter, main and drink (including some alcoholic options) for £11.95. You can also add on a dessert for £3. Whilst the starters are limited, a great deal of the mains are available to choose from. We decided to go for this option (even though I was pleased to see the tandoori chicken salad was still there). So two of went for garlic bread and one for garlic dough balls. All three of us went for pizza for our mains; I chose chilli salsaccia, my friend’s went for tandoori chicken and the americana.

The starters arrived promptly. The garlic bread was a largish oval shape but light and puffy. The garlic flavour was spot on. The dough balls were also of a good standard and plentiful, with about eight on the plate.

The pizzas arrived and were just the right size. Mine had an intriguing chilli jam base. It took my mind a few bites to get over the confusion of the taste over expectation of tomato but it was really good. The sausage was herby and great in flavour. The red onion and peppers have a nice balancing element to the pizza. It was very satisfying. The tandoori chicken pizza was visually appealing. With a lime wedge, the flavour had a nice tingle. It’s good to see that Croma didn’t shy away from the spices. The Americana was also going down a treat. The only complaint was that it might have been useful to have the pizza pre-sliced or provide a pizza cutter and it’s a bit tiring on the hands with a knife and fork.

We enjoyed our time at Croma. One of my dining companions felt it was a little similar to Pizza Express but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Croma is in a good location and has a solid offering.

Food – 8/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 7/10
Value – 9/10

Overall – 32/40

Would I eat here again? Yes.

Cost £36 for three pre-theatre two course meals

Locanda De Gusti

Locanda de Gusti

17th September 2016 7.30pm

http://www.locandadegusti.com/#locandadegusti

Locanda de Gusti is very popular restaurant but I had not visited since its relocation to Dalry Road. A friend was raving about it so we went for a visit, perfectly timed just before her big holiday to Italy.

A relatively small restaurant means it is wise to book in advance. You are greeted with a hearty, warm Italian welcome. As my friend is a regular she also got a bit of chat from the staff. We felt right at ease here. You won’t find a menu that goes on endlessly here but there should be something for everyone, with a range of starters, pastas, pizza and other mains to choose from. I went for provola followed by the meat dish of the day, beef shin and opted for a side of salad as it was a hot day and a side of veg and potatoes would have been too much for me. My friend when for a crab salad with arancini followed by scarpone.

Panzanella - Locanda De Gusti

Panzanella – Locanda De Gusti

We were given a little dish of a panzanella type salad which we nibbled as whilst we waited for our mains. This was a really nice touch and was scattered with bread, tomatoes, cucumber, onions and olives. Very satisfying.

The starters came out and I was very excited to see my provola. This was smoked buffalo mozzarella slow cooked in tomatoes, oil, garlic and oregano. You also got the option to have some additional bread to mop up the sauce which I obviously took up. The mozzarella was gooey but moreish. A whole ball sat in the centre of the dish. The sauce was beautiful and mopped up with the bread. On the other side of the table my friend had chosen her starter solely based on the crab salad, which she thoroughly enjoyed. She wasn’t so enamoured with the arancini but that was completely down to personal preference.

Onto the main and it’s fair to say the portion size is generous. My beef shin was more like all four legs of the cow! I barely touched the salad and failed to polish off all of the beef but that was not due to lack of trying. The meat was tender and melted in the mouth. The sauce it sat in was delicious. It was wonderful and I’d happily had it again. My dining companion scarpone was going down a treat. This was two halves of aubergine topped with tomato, basil, mozzarella and Parmesan. She thought it was delightful and managed to polish the lot off.

Whilst neither of us could manage dessert there were some nice options including pannacotta and a chocolate mousse.

We enjoyed our meal here and would happily return.

Food – 8.5/10
Service – 9/10
Atmosphere- 8/10
Value – 8.5/10

Overall 34/40

Would I eat here again? Yes!

Cost – £57 for two starters, two mains, one prosecco and a glass of wine.

Locanda De Gusti Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hot Hot Sausage Pizza - Civerinos

Civerinos

30th August 2016 5.50pm

www.civerinos.com

Civerinos (pronounced chiv-er-inos) is situated on Hunter Square. I had been meaning to come here for some time but the tone of their Instagram feed made me a little wary that it might be quite a blokey environment. However the lure of pizza tempted us in and my wariness was unfounded.

Beer - Civerinos

Beer – Civerinos

The environment was actually perfectly fine. We dropped in so were given a little over an hour to eat (as the table we were given was booked for later), which we managed but may have struggled if we had ordered starters. However, we wanted a pizza each so skipped the starters, although there were plenty of options tempting me, such as calamari and bruschetta. I was umming  and ahhing over which pizza to have, a bit worried that the hot hot sausage might be a bit too much for me. However a lad sat next to us (communal dining) chipped in to assure me it wasn’t too hot, so I took a gamble. My dining companion went for the BBQ pork.

We weren’t waiting long before the pizzas arrived. Large in size but very thin and crispy, which is my favourite type of pizza. The toppings are sparse but somehow seems right in order not to overload the thin pizza. Mine came with an additional bottle of hot sauce. Whilst I added a little on, I didn’t think it really added anything to the pizza. Otheriwse, it was a flavoursome pizza that hit the spot. On the other side of the table, the BBQ pizza was going down well, although there were a couple of bits of hot chilli that caught her a bit off guard with their heat. She definitely enjoyed her pizza and indicated she happily visit again.

BBQ Pork Pizza - Civerinos

BBQ Pork Pizza – Civerinos

We enjoyed our pizzas but we think next time we’d have a starter each and share a pizza to get the most out of the menu.

Food – 8/10
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – 8/10
Value – 7/10

Overall – 31/40

Would I eat here again? Most likely

Cost – just under £40 for two pizzas, one beer and three diet cokes