La Bruschetta.

Seldom you hear the words ‘Italian’ and ‘tiny’ in the same sentence but those are the two words that instantly sum up La Bruschetta. A hidden jewel in Edinburgh’s Haymarket which, despite being splat in the middle of  some of the worst of the tramworks & right opposite Haymarket station and especially despite the councils best attempts to scupper business in this part of town having  in turn stopped traffic, started traffic, diverted traffic, allowed taxis, banned cars, occasionally had buses and left bemused humans shuffling about wondering if Armagedon has come. La Bruschetta thrives! Hoorah!

Entering this understated wee gem expect the sort of warm greeting last experienced when going out for a special family event with my Mum and Dad when I was but a stripling. Sharply dressed, white shirted, black trousered, impeccably presented Italian men of a certain age look after you like you were Sophia Loren  out for dinner with Mario Lanza. Our host for the night was Jock an old pal who loves this place and by goodness me knows his onions. He didn’t look at the menu he ordered up ravioli and veal. End of.

I plumped for one of the starters of the day-  lobster linguine. So did Dave and mia madre (– my mum) plumped for avocado and  prawn which sounds rather dull and you know what to expect but this was prepared and presented with flair and love and well I could go on but I think you are getting the jist.

Jock asked the man who had our best interests at heart to choose a wine. It was sublime. I have no idea what it was. We were his guests so I  was just gargling, eating, talking and indulging it would be rude to interrogate and peer and paw so I didn’t.

Main courses. Scampi. No orange breaded in a basket mock scampi nonsense here. Though don’t get me wrong there is place for that, namely on the couch Saturday night with a vat of tartare sauce. But these were fresh scampi. Fresh, fat, succulent, tender and cooked in a white wine and creamy reduction.

Scampi sautéed with butter, garlic, and white wine, served in a light cream sauce with chilli and lemon

Thank you God for creating the ingredients and thank you chef of La Bruschetta for cooking it so well. Creamed spinach and Italian potatoes accompanied our mains. David had a mixed grill of fish………….oh yes.  Fresh wild trout, gambas, halibut and mussels  were the stars of a star studded show.

Jock went for the veal

Pan-fried veal with wild mushrooms and Porcini in a white wine sauce with cream, nutmeg, white Truffle oil and rocket

and so did Mia Madre. They were quiet. This if you knew either of them spoke volumes as to how much they were enjoying this. No. Loving this. Every morsel. We all were.

La Bruschetta has been here for years. It has survived the highs and lows of economic doom and gloom. It doesn’t blow it’s own trumpet. It doesn’t appear in lists and award ceremonies. It doesn’t have a high flying PR agency to shout from the rooftops about it. No La Bruschetta  nestles quietly in a not very fashionable part of Edinburgh. But at 6pm – yes 6pm on a Friday night it was packed. We were out by 8.30 – they were turning those tables.

It is linen table clothes, impeccable service and wonderful food.

When asked if they were busy. The proprietor and charming waiter answered ‘ yes we are busy  – not full tomorrow but we’ll see’ In the time we were there the number of  people whose noses pressed up against the window caused hilarity. This frontage is easy to miss,so as passers glanced at the menu and got their dander up, they then peered in the welcoming room only to see a huddle of  red cheeked, warm happy diners perusing their plates of fresh delicious food. If you stumble upon it – go in – if you don’t – call and book a table. Take your friend, partner, lover or go alone. The food and this style charming service will never be unfashionable. Ever.

Three cheers for La Bruschetta. Forgive their website – it’s not great. But who cares, take me word for it they are far too busy making delicious food to bother with such fripperies.

La Bruschetta    Tel: 0131 467 7464

Clifton Terrace,

Edinburgh EH12 5DR

(directly opposite Haymarket Station – so if you don’t live in Edinburghlope off the train at this station, eat a wonderful meal and return home, happy, satisfied and wondering if it was all dream!)


Writer & broadcaster.

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