Dinner Out - Scottish Style

I've taken to sharing pictures of my meals on Facebook. I don't mean to be so cliché, but truly, the food here is amazing! And Stan (the cook in our family) has hooked us in with the foodie community, so we've been learning about all the hidden gems in town. Not that good food is hard to find. There are no less than FIVE Michelin starred restaurants in Edinburgh alone. To put that in perspective for you - I believe there are 173 Michelin-starred restaurants in the entire USA.
     On the first night of school, we attended a Scran Salon (basically just a bunch of folks talking about food) over in Fountainbridge near the end of the canal (or the head of it, I'm not sure). It's a fun social gathering and we've been making nice friends through this group - and broadening our horizons.

     Afterwards, we went to dinner at what has become my favorite Italian restaurant, Bar Italia. Gaspar already recognizes us and gives me a big kiss on each cheek. What's not to love? Fresh seafood with gluten free pasta - to die for!
     The other night we attended a tasting dinner for one of our new favorite restaurants, the Apiary with two local food critics - the stars of Lunch Quest. The food there is SO inventive and delicious, we passed the plates around so everybody could try everything. (Duck and veal - although they had lovely veggie options too.)

     But last night, Stan blew them all out of the water (ha!) with Under the Stairs. It was just a short walk from the end of my first week at the College of Art, past Grassmarket and down a side street. It truly is under the stairs with very little signage. I don't know how he ever found it, but people do. We were only able to eat if we promised to be done by 8:00 when our table was reserved (and there was nothing else available). So, we had celebratory drinks in the lounge, then moved to our sweet little table.
     Surrounded by rock walls, I felt like I was in an ancient tavern. And then the food arrived...
     All I can say is...OMG. If you know me well, you know I used to make bread. It made me feel like the ghosts of all past bread makers were watching over my shoulder. It made me feel connected, like this meal did.
     For starters we had cauliflower with tahini sauce and pickled, roasted chestnuts - WHAT? Delicious. For dinner, I had the venison. Don't judge, people eat every sort of meat here, as they've done for thousands of years. I am embracing the local culture (except for gluten, which I just can't do.)
     With every bite, I was thrust back into what must have been past lives for me. I felt layers of fabric around my legs from my thick skirts. I felt the sting of a warm fire on a cold night, leaves under my feat and my backside cold against a fallen log. I enjoyed the bounty of the day's hunt as I smelled wet leaves and tinder. I tasted Mead and heard the clinks of metal mugs. I don't know how to explain it. Is it some sort of synethsesia? I didn't know food could trigger such thoughts. The meal made me feel connected to thousands of years of history and stories. It was probably the best of my life. No lie.
     But eventually our plates were empty, we were full. And the table was no longer ours. So we walked out into the cool night for our leisurely walk home. Edinburgh loves to play with colored lights, so this was our view. Because, why not?

1 comment:

Daffodil Cards said...

Looks and sounds DELICIOUS.