French Restaurants in Edinburgh
1. The Dining Room French restaurant in Edinburgh 28 Queen St - EH2
More praise this year for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s dining room, on the first floor of a Georgian townhouse in the city-centre, which serves a choice of menus (including a veggie option). “Despite being a huge whisky fan, my husband was unsure about going for the five-course tasting menu with matched whiskies but he was glad he did: flavour combinations worked really well – smoky whisky with smoked haddock, sweeter whisky with rabbit and carrot, and a honeyed whisky to go with dessert (to name but a few – all cask strength too!)”.
2. Rhubarb, Prestonfield Hotel Scottish restaurant in Edinburgh Priestfield Rd - EH16
With its “rich and opulent” setting, this Georgian former private estate provides a “unique environment” for “high-end” meals that are a feast for the eyes as much as the tastebuds. James Thomson pioneered his borderline kitsch approach to hospitality at his gothic-themed Witchery.
3. Restaurant Martin Wishart French restaurant in Edinburgh 54 The Shore - EH6
“Still the best in Edinburgh” – Martin Wishart delivers “a glorious celebration of Scottish fare” at this “slightly formal” operation. “This is serious no-nonsense cooking from the canapés, to the amuse bouche, and you can opt for the tasting menu, à la carte, vegetarian tasting menu and fish tasting menu; plus a fantastic selection of wine and wine flights”. Stylewise, it’s “a classic modern dining room” in “a nice location by the water in Leith”, and “with a level of service akin to that of a top London hotel”. “The only quibble is the very limited choice at lunchtime” although the set deal is “overall very good value for the price”.
4. Bia Bistrot French restaurant in Edinburgh 19 Colinton Rd - EH10
“A very decent choice in the posh neighbourhood of Morningside” – Roisin & Matthias Llorente’s “very friendly” and “always reliable” bistro has a strong fanclub, both amongst the locals and visitors who have truffled it out, some of whom would say it’s “Edinburgh’s top dining option” thanks its “exceptionally well-prepared” and reasonably priced modern Scottish dishes and “personal” service.
5. Le Roi Fou French restaurant in Edinburgh Forth Street - EH1
“No pretension here, just good food at the right price” – Jérôme Henry’s New Town venture (est 2017) attracts consistently enthusiastic reviews and “it’s not to denigrate the talent of the chef (quite the opposite) to say that it’s almost akin to a top-class brasserie – it takes wonderful ingredients and puts them on the plate with the minimum of interference”. Some diners feel that the “surroundings seem a bit pedestrian” in comparison to the high quality of the cuisine, whereas others feel that “it gets the balance of formality and informality just right”.
6. Café St-Honoré French restaurant in Edinburgh 34 NW Thistle Street Ln - EH2
“French romantic at its best… I felt transported 500 miles south” – Neil Forbes’s “intimate brasserie” is a long-term fixture of the New Town, and wins glowing all-round praise for its “lovely cosy atmosphere” and “delicious” food that’s “always consistent”, too.
7. La Garrigue French restaurant in Edinburgh 31 Jeffrey St - EH1
“The hearty food and wine of the Languedoc” dominate the menu at Jean-Michel Gauffre’s “enjoyable” Old Town stalwart, which celebrates its 20th anniversary next year and remains “a fine place to dine”. There’s also a “huge wine list, mainly from southern France with many rare and unusual bottles from Languedoc and Roussillon”.
8. Café Marlayne French restaurant in Edinburgh 1 Thistle Street - EH2
This “consistently entertaining” and “very French bistro (better than many in France nowadays!)” is a “reliable” source of reasonably priced classic dishes, with “friendly” (if “slightly chaotic) service”. The Antigua Street branch closed down a couple of years ago.
9. L’Escargot Bleu French restaurant in Edinburgh 56 Broughton St - EH1
“The French bistro food always hits the mark” at this “friendly” 10-year-old West End outfit with a “lively and convincingly authentic atmosphere”. Chef-patron Fred Berkmiller, from the Loire Valley, also owns L’Escargot Blanc nearby.
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