Howies (Waterloo Place)
- Telephone 0131 556 5766
- Seasonal times During August: Mon–Sun noon–3pm, 5.30–10pm.
- Bar open Coffee: Mon–Sun from 11am.
- Food served Mon–Thu noon–2.30pm, 5.30–10pm; Fri–Sun noon–3pm, 5.30–10pm.
- Pre-theatre times Sun–Thu 5.30–6.30pm
- Pre-theatre price £14.95
- Website www.howies.uk.com
A bit of an architectural jewel, offering comforting Scottish-inspired food, with a good early-dining deal.
At the foot of Calton Hill, In an old debating hall celebrating its 200th birthday this year, Howies has been quietly going about its business since 2001. Unlike their compact and bustling Victoria Street bistro, this grand restaurant boasts a double-height ceiling with mahogany-look tables nicely distanced apart for those who appreciate a little elbow room. Along with touches of tartan upholstery and a trio of antlers, Scottish roots are reinforced by the menu’s map of producers. With a slick – or slightly concerning – speed of service, slices of pigeon arrive still pleasantly cooing on a perch of shallot tarte tatin, let down by blobs of bland carrot purée while game terrine is a little dry. Other dishes, such as the Glen Lyon venison from the owner’s estate, are a delight; the meat is tender with a flavoursome charred edge. Waistbands permitting, diners might choose to follow up with a hot fudge sundae or sticky toffee pud. This informal dining room is a hotspot for tourists and a slightly more mature crowd, and judging by the stack of high chairs, families are well looked after too.
- Private dining: 16-32
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Chilled easy listening
- Capacity: 110 (26-30)
- Largest group: 110
- Open since: 2001
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 17
- House wine: £19.85 per bottle
- BYOB: £4.50 corkage (£5.50 for fizz; no beer or spirits; Sun–Thu only)