After a day spent losing a bit of money betting on the ponies at Musselborough (but to be fair, I learned a lot and I was REALLY good at choosing ponies that were just out of the money) we didn’t fancy waiting to shove onto the buses to get back into Edinburgh with the crowds so we tottered up the road and popped into the Italian restaurant just along the way: Caprice.
Inside the restaurant was just as twee as you would hope to find in an Italian restaurant anywhere that boasted home-style foods and atmosphere. I spied a large pizza oven in the front room, and the table we were seated at had the most unusual feature of an inlaid underwater sand, beach scene, to make us think of the seafood options, I guess?
It must have worked. I went with a starter of meat balls and the pasta with tuna and olives.
It was pretty swift that our starters arrived at our unique table and the soup looked nice, but the wee meatballs that they brought me in the hot, clay dish were tasty looking, but alas, they were overly porky for me. They had a sausagey taste that was too much for me, and the soft insides of the meatballs was a bit too much like velvet.
Some, such as B, may argue that the meatballs were nicely flavoured with a bit of aniseedy, sausage flavourings, but it was not to my taste at all and I ended up coercing B into eating most of it so I wouldn’t send it back without having eaten more than one or two.
When the mains arrived, I was more pleased. This was a plate of steamingly hot pasta that was filled with olives and tuna. The pastas was cooked well. The red sauce, which is often the basis of the Italian restaurant’s menu, was ok. Nothing that really blew my socks off with depth of flavours but it did the job nicely. The olives provided a salty contrast and the only real criticism I had of the dish was the use of tinned tuna. I know that I should expect nothing more, but I cannot help but feel that at Caprice, I got exactly what I should have expected: a well made, home-made dish of pasta that I could have gone home and tossed together, but it is the charming atmosphere and convenience that I paid for, and on that principle, it fit the bill nicely.
But I must take a moment to HIGHLY recommend the races.
Caprice is a venue of long-standing in the Royal Burgh of Musselburgh. We decided to pay it a visit after a day of extreme joy, but ultimate frustration at the horse racing.
Horses are one of MJ’s abiding passions. If you ask her nicely, she’ll show you some truly spectacular photos of her in scintillatingly matching outfits, as she shows her prize pony, Dudley. You can see an artistic rendering of Dudley on the front cover of our 2012 Guide, too.
Another passion is Italian food, so it was a good day for my Alabamian pal!
Caprice is a lovely building just over the Esk, as you come in to Musselburgh. The restaurant inside is simply appointed. It showcases a wood-fired pizza oven, which produces their signature dishes. The table at which we sat had a lovely shell display set in the table, which had a quirky charm.
From their extensive menu, we opened with meatballs and minestrone, then I stuck with pizza, while rigatoni was MJ’s choice.
Service was swiftly managed throughout, with a good deal of relaxed charm and confidence.
My soup was the finest minestrone in history. It had cooked vegetable chunkiness, but the broth was a trifle thin and oily. As the meatballs weren’t a hit with MJ, as they comprised two element (sausageyness and hints of aniseed) that really don’t work for her. I was happy to help out, and found them really rather good.
That was lucky, as my pizza had a generous helping of them, as a topping. The other toppings were generous, too, combining with a good sauce and nice light base to make for much pizza goodness.
So Caprice suited our needs well. I’d happily recommend it as a good place to opt for when you’re in this part of the world and requiring a pizza fix. Hopefully, on our next trip to these parts, our luck in picking the right horse to cheer home might be a little better. Whatever the case, I’d certainly be happy to pop back to Caprice for another visit.
*MJ Says: As an aside, yes, if you ask nicely, I will show you funny photos of me showing horses in the States. Or, I can even teach you how to rope.
MJ scores Caprice
3/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 12.5/20
Blythe scores Caprice
3.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 13.5/20
Today’s questers were: Miriam, Blythe
We ate: minestrone, meatballs, rigatoni, pizza
We drank: sparkly water, espresso
We wore: ring bling, horseshoe tie
Total bill: c.£40