Considering we’re supposed to be into summer months now, the weather has been terrible! Of course I used food to cheer me up, by dining at some fantastic restaurants. From Moscow to Edinburgh, here are my top 3 meals from the month:
My boyfriend Sam and I spent a few days in Moscow at the beginning of the month and we were keen to try traditional Russian food. We came across Mari Vanna and loved the look of the menu, so our concierge booked us a table for 8pm. On arrival, the restaurant looks like an apartment building and once you enter it still feels like someone’s home. The interior is cosy and very traditional, which gives it a homely feel and matches the menu perfectly. Look out for Mari Vanna’s feline friend!
Once we had ordered some Russian wine and studied the menu we decided on a meat pirozhki and a mushroom pirozhki to start. Then I chose salmon dumplings for my main, while Sam opted for a beef dish with onion, garlic and creamy mashed potato. Both the meat and mushroom were a good size and ideal for a starter, but they were a bit dry for my liking; some extra sauce would really have enhanced these for me.
The dumplings however were lovely and buttery and so tasty! They were served with sour cream, but I only needed a touch of this. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal, but it was Sam’s choice that took me by surprise. I loved his beef main course because it was bursting with flavour; you could really taste the onion and garlic. I recommend having the dumplings to share as a starter and then have the incredible beef dish as a main. We followed our main courses with some strawberry ice cream and more wine. To complete our traditional Russian meal, of course we had to end with vodka!
Everyone knows that brunch is my favourite meal and the Roseleaf knows how to deliver a good one! This was my second visit to the cute café and I fell more in love than on my first. The décor is based on a vintage tearoom and there are lots of quirky touches, which create a fun vibe. The menu is inside a National Geographic Magazine and they have all the usual yummy brunch options as well as some innovative creations.
The first time I brunched here I went for Pearrifc, which was crushed peas with poached eggs and bacon. The peas were a surprising delicious alternative to avocado and I would certainly have ordered this again. However, this time it wasn’t on the menu, but Holy Quacamole caught my eye. This dish was smashed avocado, with poached eggs and siracha sauce; I also added halloumi. I loved it just as much as the Pearrific; the eggs were cooked perfectly and the toasted homemade bread has a good crunch but is still lovely and soft in the middle.
4 of us had a surprise birthday brunch here for a friend in the middle of the month, so we had to pair our tasty food with some tasty drinks. We chose a couple of Pot-Tails to share between us and they were a fabulous addition to our afternoon.
Locanda de Gusti
Last, but certainly not least, Sam and I used a voucher we received for Christmas at Locanda de Gusti this week. Again, I had been here once before and I knew I would have a brilliant experience. Because we had a voucher we didn’t hold back with our order. As soon as we were settled in the small, Italian restaurant I took our waitress up on her suggestion of a glass of prosecco to start and Sam went for a Moretti. I chose the crab salad to start, where as Sam went for the potato gateau and for our main we decided to share the Grigliata di Pesce.
Whilst waiting for our starters we were served a small pan of deconstructed bruschetta, which was delicious and an excellent touch. Both of our starters were incredible; my crab was fresh and zingy, but the burrata served on top completely mellowed out the citrus and created a beautiful dish.
Before the main courses arrived we order some white wine to accompany our seafood mixed grill and we certainly needed it for the amount of fish! When the plate arrived, I could feel the button on my jeans about to burst just by looking at what we were going to eat. The plate was filled with tuna, seabass, swordfish, scallops, prawns, langoustines and lobster. I kept eating way past the point of being full, but I didn’t regret one single bite; it was absolutely outstanding.
Sam managed to squeeze in a chocolate mousse to round off the meal and we were served a small flask of amaretto with our bill. Throughout the evening the staff made us feel completely at ease and the restaurant truly feels like you’re dining in Italy. This meal was one of the best I have eaten this year and Locanda de Gusti is definitely one of my favourite restaurants in Edinburgh.