I was sad to hear that Rafael’s had closed as it had both served me both an excellent dinner and provided me with a lasting Lunchquest memory when the words complimentary and complementary had got all mixed up, as they often do.
But life goes on and I was interested in what Radici, the new Italian bistro occupants on the space, had to offer.
The most immediate impression was that they’d removed much of the cosy charm and replaced it with painted Ikea tables and chairs and a wipe-clean floor. I suppose Rafael’s was unusual in having a carpeted dining space but it felt like a much more creative use of this signature Stockbridge basement.
The menu held some intriguing dishes but it didn’t take me too long to settle upon selections. I started with the asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon followed by lamb chops.
The starter arrived with three wrapped spears served with Italian robiola cheese. It was a simple dish but packed good flavour and was a pleasing enough opener.
The main course featured two lamb chops with cavalo nero and sauteed potatoes. This was a small portion for a main course – I fed this back to the waiter – and was pretty ordinary.
I rounded things out with reasonable espresso.
So overall, I’m not quite sure what to make of Radici. It seemed to be operating at a level of subtlety that rather eluded me. There was a sense of assurance and confidence about what they were doing and I have a feeling it will connect with an appreciative audience. But I found it charmless and underwhelming. I’ll try it again in a few months and see whether it appeals to me more once it’s further bedded-in.
I ate: salmone e asparigi; lamb chops
I drank: wine, water, espresso
I wore: denim trousers
Total bill: £46.20
Address: 2 Deanhaugh Street, Edinburgh EH4 1LY