I was cream crackered after another long day at the salt mines so couldn’t face anything more than flopping in the corner of a restaurant and ordering food that I’d likely spill down my front due to sheer fatigue.
Embracing the likely splatter fest, I headed for the nearest Italian and spun the red sauce wheel of tie-destroying sauciness.
My destination of choice was Al Fresco, the little sister restaurant of Giuliano’s, just opposite the Playhouse Theatre. Although it has been trading there for around 25 years, this was my first visit.
The place is a little worn at the edges much in the same was as nearby Mennato’s, but the welcome was warm and my seat in the window was as comfortable as it was much needed.
I figured meatballs then a pizza would be a solid way to go so ordered the polpette and the campagnola pizza.
The starter soon arrived. It was a very generous portion with three chunky balls of meat in a rich tomato sauce topped with parmesan shavings and a balsamic drizzle. It was hearty stuff that hit the spot.
The pizza was a monster, too. It featured crisp cubes of pancetta, profuse mushrooms and little pools of garlic butter that were just delicious. Despite my keen appetite by half way through I was done so got the rest boxed up for eating at home.
So overall, I really enjoyed my visit to Al Fresco. The food was a notch better than the memory of my last visit to Giuliano’s and the pizza in particular was very good indeed. I’d be happy to visit again, perhaps when feeling a little more alert.
Blythe scores Al Fresco
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14/20
I ate: meatballs, pizza
I drank: lager
I wore: new trousers (they survived my messy eating untarnished)
Total bill: £19.15
Address: 22 Union Place, Edinburgh EH1 3NQ