Our most recent Grubcrawl had been an epic adventure through the city centre with stops at El Cartel, Dough and Bar a Vin. We’d eaten a lot of food and it was quite superb.
This time we ventured to the area of Spurtleshire, broadly covering the top of Leith and Broughton Street, where the local stirrer The Spurtle is the oracle.
Tonight’s party started with an initial four comprising regular grubcrawler Joanna, then first timers Elizabeth and Chloe. We were subsequently joined by Shona and Tim, though they didn’t make it until course two.
Our first port of call was at the excellent Walnut, on Croall Place. Near to legendary TV and Darts purveyor Borlands, The Walnut has built a really appreciative audience since it opened, a few months back. I’ve visited a good few times so was pleased to introduce it to some new people.
They have an extensive starter and small plate selection with everything priced around a fiver or less. We’d brought wines of appropriate colours as it’s a BYO place.
Joanna and Elizabeth opted for the crab claws, while Chloe chose the mussels and I picked the roasted carrot and goat’s cheese salad.
One of the many highlights was, as usual, the excellent bread they make freshly each day. This was wolfed down with considerable relish.
My carrot dish was absolutely first class, with beautifully charred carrot chunks and crumbled goat’s cheese interspersed with walnuts. There was a little goat’s cheese toast, as well. It was one of the best dishes I’ve had this year.
The others were very happy with their choices, too, so it was definitely a successful first leg of the evening.
It had been a while since I’d visited but we found it on good form, once again.
The specials board lured us in with Elizabeth and Joanna accounting for all of their scallops, Chloe opting for the swordfish ravioli, and Tim choosing a mighty arancino.
Shona and I stuck to the a la carte with Shona trying saltimbocca for the first time while I opted for their house rigatoni dish. I also sampled a really good glass of asti fragoli packed with little wild strawberries.
I was pleased with my selection. After the blockbuster starter I was looking for something simple and hearty and this hit the brief very nicely. There was similarly positive reactions around the table, with the scallop dish particularly eye-catching.
It was then on to the Liquor Library, beneath Seasons, for cocktails, cheese and charcuterie. Tim and Elizabeth fancied something dessertish so I begged the indulgence of the kitchen upstairs who came through with a very smart chocolate pannacotta with lingonberry. It was given a firm thumbs up, although the low-lighting didn’t allow for useable photos of it.
The rest of us tucked in to a nice cheese and charcuterie selection with lovely fresh bread and crackers. Wine was taken, as was a Manhattan.
With the cocktail genie out of the bottle, Joanna, Shona and I had a cheeky extra course at Lucky Liquor. I behaved moderately sensibly and ordered from the current menu, including the distinctly original MF Shroom, which packs in mushroom sorbet and syrup. Fungal fun.
So overall, we enjoyed another highly successful Grubcrawl. My starter at The Walnut was the star of the show, but every stop had real charm and quality. We look forward to the next one, whenever and wherever that might be.