My wonderful local wine and beer shop Cornelius runs various wine tasting evenings at restaurants in Edinburgh. It’s dead good: £35 a head and you get to try (usually) 7 or so wines, with at least a glass of each, with a spiel from A Person Who Knows About These Things, as well as a good feed. In the past, I’ve been to a Portuguese wine one at Spitaki (one of my favourite Edinburgh restaurants) and last night was the turn of The Walnut on Leith Walk. This is a fairly new place that I’ve been meaning to try since it opened, so last night was a great opportunity: try the scran, get pished on posh wine – you get the drift.
DIGRESSION ALERT!! At this point, I should mention that I don’t intend my blog to have full restaurant reviews, really. I am *obsessed* with food and eating out, so I’ll be giving recommendations on places I like (or “avoid like a pustule-covered plague victim” warnings of places that are pants) – all over Scotland – but I’m not cut out for “proper” food blogging, to be honest with you. Firstly, there are plenty of other better food writers doing that already and doing it very bloody well (eg Edinburgh Feasts ( a personal fave – v reliable); Glasgow Food Geek; Boys Eat Scotland etc). Secondly, I’m not very eloquent when it comes to describing restaurants: you generally won’t get much more from me than “the food is feckin amazing!” or “great food, shite service” or “full of hipsters – avoid” or – very often – “they served me food on a plank / in a small novelty shopping trolley / on a spade – so feel free to firebomb them” etc). Thirdly, I’m *really* not one for whipping out my camera and taking an arty shot of a plate of mince and tatties – and I think food review blogs need the pictures. SECOND DIGRESSION ALERT: Which actually reminds me of a few weeks back when I was at The Gardener’s Cottage (go – it’s good, but no’ cheap, so a special occasion place – and you also have to sit at big long tables next to randoms, so if you don’t fancy that, dinnae bother – see, I told you I wasn’t eloquent with restaurant descriptions) when the couple next to me and my mate spent the whole night taking pic after pic of the food, (like, even holding it up and doing selfies and stuff?!) that I felt like grabbing the plates off them and saying “just eat the bloody tiny morsels of delicious fancy stuff before it gets cold, ya eejits!”).
Anyway, back to The Walnut. Happy to report the food was ace: highlight for me was my ham hock terrine for starter – ooh fancy! And Grown-Up Boyfriend reported that his fish soup was superb. And then there was All The Cheese, including a really yummy blue one (can’t remember what it was – was pished by then: again, we see why full restaurant reviews are a no-hoper for me). And the wine wasn’t half bad either. Mind you, what do I know about wine? I drink *A LOT* of the stuff and I am quite able to state a preference (eg “that one’s ok”; “that one’s nicer”; “that one’s nicer again”; “that’s one’s – hey I’m drunk!”) but I have to admit getting a bit lost when they start talking about grape variety percentages and whether it was a “good year”. And when the Person Who Knows About These Things mentioned that one of them was fermented (is that even a thing?) in stainless steel and “had never even seen wood” I’ll admit to having sniggered into my terrine. Hehehehe – he said “wood”. All that being said, every day is a school day and maybe I picked up a few pointers for my next visit to Cornelius, when I buy a decent, fairly priced bottle rather than the
£3.99 (actually £4.49 – just remembered it’s bloody gone up lately!) bottle of Cote Du Rhone from Aldi.
The main thing is that it’s good to support a local, independent business and, in the case of last night, two. Scotland is FULL of wonderful specialist shops and restaurants run by people with genuine passion for what they do and I hope to cover plenty of those places that I’ve visited over the course of futures posts.
And if you get a decent feed and nicely plastered on a school night, than that’s an added bonus.