Edinburgh: Jamie's Italian

7.1.16

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Tired of talking about Christmas food? Me too. Let's talk about Italian food instead. A couple of weeks ago Jamie's Italian invited me along to try out their Edinburgh restaurant so I headed along to sample the menu. Despite having heard lots of good things about it, this was my first visit - so I was looking forward to trying it out for myself!

Quite often, chain restaurants can be quite dull and lacking in any individual character, but that's not the case with Jamie's. The Edinburgh restaurant is located inside the Assembly Rooms on George Street, a rather spectacular Georgian building full of period charm. Jamie's Italian is located on the ground floor, with an impressive dining room (complete with high ceilings, opulent interiors and a big marble antipasti bar in the middle) and a slightly more informal area around the open-plan kitchen. We took our seats in a dark and candle-lit corner of the dining room and perused the menu whilst sipping our drinks - I went for a refreshing Blackberry Mule cocktail to start.

For starters, we opted for the spicy meatball bruschetta and Italian "nachos", which were actually crispy fried ravioli pieces stuffed with cheese and served with a spicy tomato sauce. I was really pleased with my choice of bruschetta, which came topped with pork & fennel meatballs doused in spicy tomato sauce with a sprinkling of parmesan and rocket on top. My only complaint was that the bread wasn't crispy enough, but when it's topped with all that other good stuff who really cares, right?

On the advice of our friendly waiter, I decided to opt for that day's special for my main course. If I remember correctly, it was linguine with parma ham, peppers, tomatoes and a lemon, chilli and garlic sauce. Delish! Pasta dishes can sometimes be a bit heavy, especially when you're having a three course meal, but this one was nice and light with lots of fresh flavours. Owen chose a similarly light and tasty pasta dish, this time from the main menu in the form of the crab spaghetti which was served with capers, anchovies, lemon and herbs. We also shared a side of garlic bread which was perfect for dipping into the leftover pasta sauce.

Time for dessert now. I had another cocktail (the Amalfi Collins, another recommendation from the waiter!) along with my lemon meringue cheesecake. This was soooo good but very sweet so sadly I couldn't finish it all - but I certainly gave it a good try! The chocolate brownie also looked really good, served warm and gooey with some ice cream and caramelised popcorn.

All in all, the meal was really good. The food was tasty, service was friendly and attentive and the restaurant itself felt very luxurious. Despite the fancy surroundings, the prices were very average so you could feel like you were treating yourself without breaking the bank.

Have you visited a Jamie's Italian restaurant before?

Gillian x