Take three: Fringe firsts - new Edinburgh openings for the festival 2008
Olive Branch Bistro
44-46 George IV Bridge, 0131 226 4155, www.theolivebranchscotland.co.uk
This intriguing site has hosted pioneering modern Scottish restaurant Dial as well as Marque Central scion Herbe Bistro. The dining space is one below street level, so count it as one of your hidden secrets in the city centre. Good bistro eating with an increasing slant towards local and seasonal dishes.
55-57 West Nicolson Street, 0131 662 4493, www.ilovepinkolive.co.uk
A new venture by ex-Howies and First Coast manager Kay McBride that replaces North African diner Phenecia. Designed with a bit of homespun funkiness, it’s essentially a simple, friendly bistro serving fresh, proper food with a canny eye on what’s seasonal, sustainable and local.
North Bridge Brasserie
20 North Bridge, 0131 556 5565, www.thescotsmanhotel.co.uk
The Scotsman Hotel’s brasserie and bar has been undergoing refurbishment for much of spring 2008, flinging its doors open again just in time for the Festival. The menu is overseen by head chef Geoff Balharrie with dishes such as Loch Tarbert scallops with black pudding, pea puree and cider.