Howies (Victoria Street)
- Telephone 0131 225 1721
- Seasonal times During festival Mon–Sun 11am–11pm.
- Bar open Mon–Fri noon–3pm, 5.30–10pm; Sat/Sun noon–10.30pm.
- Food served Mon–Fri noon–2.45pm, 5.30–9.45pm; Sat/Sun noon–10.15pm.
- Pre-theatre times Sun–Thu 5.30–7.30pm (tables vacated by 7.30pm)
- Average price £9.95 (set lunch); £20 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £14.95
- Website www.howies.uk.com
This review is taken from the current (2014) edition.
Back under the watchful eye of founder David Howie Scott for long enough for it to feel like it was ever thus, the relaxed atmosphere, reasonable pricing and easy-going cooking so familiar of the Howies trio (two in Edinburgh, a third in Aberdeen) keep it busy throughout the week. The relatively traditional menu features classic dishes like haggis and Cullen skink, with Scottish supplier names peppered throughout indicating a sourcing policy they’re proud to highlight. Presentation could sometimes be improved: a starter of partridge breasts with black pudding is well cooked but the breasts appear very small against a pile of leaves, and further down the line vanilla panacotta is flatly flavoured, with a rather measly side portion of sliced poached pear. These complaints are isolated though: generously sized main dishes might include the riot of flavour that is smoked hake with chorizo and roast leeks; home-made basil sorbet is sublime, and vegetarians get a couple of thoughtful choices in each course. The restaurant is divided into two connected sections making it big enough for groups without feeling like an empty hall if not full, and is scheduled for a full makeover in spring 2014.
- High point: Great value set lunch menu
- Low point: Some draught beer options would be welcome
- Notable dish: Casserole of the day
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Chilled, jazz etc
- Capacity: 80
- Largest group: 80
- Open since: 2001
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 11
- House wine: £14.95 per bottle
- BYOB: £4 corkage (Fizz corkage £5)
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