- Telephone 0131 652 1932
- Food served Mon 5.30–10pm; Tue–Thu noon–-2pm, 5.30–10pm; Fri/Sat noon–2pm, 5.30–10.30pm; Sun closed.
- Pre-theatre times Mon–Fri 5.30–6.30pm
- Average price £10.50 (set lunch); £18 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £10.50
- Website www.al-dente-restaurant.co.uk
Traditional trattoria tucked away at the bottom of Easter Road, with a reputation for serving high-quality, fresh pasta dishes.
Al Dente does well to make a small space on Easter Road feel like a genuinely Italian eatery. There aren't many bells and whistles here: the décor is plain and subdued and the food favours simple freshness over flashiness. ‘Al dente' means 'on the tooth', and is most often used to describe the firm texture of perfectly cooked pasta. So as you’d expect, here the pasta is never pre-cooked. There is always a wide choice of specials to choose from, and while the à la carte has all of the staples you might expect (bruschetta, pasta, risotto), there are some interesting dishes on there too. The melanzane ripiene is a starter of deep-fried aubergine with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, basil and garlic, while orata al sugo e olive nere is a sea bream fillet in tomato, basil and black olive sauce. There's a solid and good-value early bird menu (though the à la carte is also reasonably priced). Al Dente is the teeniest bit off the beaten track, but worth hunting down if you're a fan of fresh, unfancified Italian cuisine.
- High point: Good blackboard specials
- Low point: Small space
- Notable dish: Linguine vongole e zucchine
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Pre-theatre menu, Free wi-fi
- Capacity: 24
- Largest group: 12
- Open since: 2008
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 8
- House wine: £14.80 per bottle