So, here’s our whistle-stop tour round a few places to consider. In no particular order:
1) Last December, I had occasion to dine out quite a number of times. By far the best meal was the one that MJ and I, along with LQ: Istanbul’s Mina and Patrick, and LQ: Edinburgh regulars Tracey and Susie, had in Chez Jules. It was a magnificent seafood feast, featuring oysters, mussels, and lobster, topped of by gooey chocolate mousse. This year, their Christmas menu is slightly more conventional, but offers excellent choice and value (2 courses £9.90, 3 course £14.90), and their usual high quality.
2) I’m taking my work colleagues to the The Whiski Rooms. I’m in love with their soup, and what could be better on a chilly winter’s day than a warming bowl of deliciousness. Check out their Christmas menu here.
3) A couple of years ago, my festive trails took me to the Wing Sing Inn. It’s way too cool to have a website but you can get the general idea from Yelp. Chinese is not a cuisine that’s very well covered in Edinburgh, and I think this is probably the place I’d send people if questioned on the subject. The setting is basic, but the food is varied and plentiful. Give it a try.
4) Our adoration of The Mulroy is well documented. I’d heartily recommend popping along this festive season, as I can think of few cosier corners in the West End. It strikes me as the ideal place to impress visiting friends and family. Their pre-theatre menu is incredibly reasonable and would provide the perfect end to a fevered Christmas shopping trip. Check out their Facebook page for current menu details.
6) If you’re looking to book for a bigger group, Amarone on the corner of George Street and St Andrew Square might fit the bill for you. Their festive menu offers a nice range of Italian classics, and they even have their own take on the classic turkey with all the trimmings.
7) If more of an intimate, home-style Italian is what you’re after, look no further than Domenico’s. A real Lunch Quest favourite, it seems like the ideal place for groups between 4 and a little more than a dozen. You’re guaranteed excellent quality pasta dishes, magnificent soups and starters, all at a very reasonable cost.
9) Nothing says Christmas like Indian food, and nowhere serves better than Mithas. Their Christmas menu showcases their exceptional dishes. You’ll be blown away by this place. I’d say it’s the perfect place for a December treat for the food-lover in your life.
10) Our fellow Edinburgh food Twitterer, @Edinburghcake recommends the Spice Pavilion, as an alternative Indian option. Their menu is £20 and even serves of Christmas Day itself. Our cakey friend spent the 25th there last year, and is a particular fan of the spicy haggis starter and the turkey curry. Their website isn’t brilliantly up-to-date, but it will give you all the general details.
12) If Mexican is what floats your boat, or you simply want an excuse to drink oodles of margaritas, why not head along to Tex Mex. It looks like they’ll be serving their regular menu, throughout the festive season. That’s no impediment to festive merriment, though.
13) We’re really excited about the recently opened Union of Genius. They’re launching “Scotland’s first soup cafe” at just the right time of year. As you may have discerned, I’m quite the soup fan, so can think of nothing better than a place that specialises in the stuff, and showcases local produce, to boot. Their menu is constantly changing, but offers great variety so you’re bound to find something to tickle your taste-buds, when you visit.
14) Another new place we’re excited about is Kyloe, at the Rutland Hotel. Again, it’s freshly opened. We visited, the other day. Cast an eye over their tempting menu. The selection of steaks, sourced from local producers such as Hardiesmill Farm, is really impressive, and seems to neatly address a gap in the Edinburgh restaurant market.
15) If the Christmas madness isn’t your thing, we’d suggest you retreat in to an oasis of calm at Koyama. We rated this place as possibly the best sushi in Edinburgh. Their regular menu covers everything you’d expect from a Japanese place. The dishes are beautifully executed and wonderfully presented, providing the perfect antidote the excesses of the season.
16) And finally, if the weather gets you down, inject a little sunshine into your life with a trip to the Hula Juice Bar. Their ever changing menu will no doubt incorporate some festive favourites, nearer the time. For those who find the prospect of winter almost too depressing to contemplate, rest assured that their sunny service coupled with a menu bursting with optimism (and their attractively priced meal deals) will have you feeling much brighter, in an instant.
So, those are some thoughts on where you might consider popping in to over the next wee while, as the nights draw in and the winter starts to bite.