A venerable favourite of the Edinburgh dining scene. Valvona & Crolla has been a fixture in the city for nigh on 80 years. Their delicatessen on Elm Row is legendary, while their Vin Caffe on Multrees Walk is a very popular spot. It was to the latter that
we ventured for lunch, today.

Crab linguine

I was joined by regular questers, and Mentalist fans, Patrick and Jane.

Aside from a brief visit for tea and cake, a couple of years ago, I’d never previously visited this place. It was my first time in their upstairs restaurant. Décor is heavy on dark wood and greens. It didn’t take my fancy, much. The atmosphere of the place
felt very stilted, too.

Their menu promised a large selection of smaller and sharing dishes, with an accompanying array of pasta, pizza and main courses. We all settled upon main courses, with Jane opting for the pancetta wrapped chicken, served with cabbage, sultanas and apricots, Patrick choosing the crab linguine, while I plumped for the squash and gorgonzola pizza.

Pancetta wrapped chicken

We were soon in receipt of our dishes. They looked quite smart, without being overly fussy. MJ would have approved. Noises of approbation came from the other side of the table, as both the chicken and linguine were proclaimed to be very good. The chicken dish, in particular, attracted considerable praise.

Likewise, my pizza was very good. An airy and light base was topped with good tangy cheese and nicely sweet squash. Rosemary and thyme brought herby goodness to each aromatic mouthful.


Unfortunately, however good the food was, and it was plenty good enough, the service and atmosphere of the place were just so flat that they rather undermined the highly accomplished work being done in the kitchen.

So overall, I very much enjoyed my pizza at Valvona & Crolla. My fellow questers were delighted with their dishes, too. However, the ambience and the service were rather spiritless, so I’m not sure it’s a place to which I’ll be rushing back, any time soon. An Italian restaurant with such a stuffy and reserved atmosphere just isn’t my thing.


Blythe scores Valvona & Crolla:
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
2.5/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 13/20

Jane scores Valvona & Crolla:
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 13.5/20

Today’s questers were: Jane, Patrick, Blythe

We ate: squash and gorgonzola pizza; chicken wrapped in pancetta; crab linguine

We drank: water, coffees

We wore: spectacles (2), blue and gold tie

Total bill: £49.15

Square Meal

Vin Caffe on Urbanspoon

Written by BKR