- Telephone 0131 557 1600
- Seasonal times Open seven days during the Edinburgh Festival.
- Food served Mon–Thu noon–2.30pm, 5.30–10pm; Fri/Sat noon–3pm, 5.30–10.30pm. Closed Sun.
- Pre-theatre times Mon–Sat 5.30–7pm
- Average price £12.90 (set lunch); £30 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £14.90
- Website www.lescargotbleu.co.uk
Scotland's abundant larder combines with classic French cooking in a much-loved central bistro.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
This much-revered bistro in Broughton Street serves two functions: on one hand it's home to true French cooking, produced with obvious passion and soul; and on the other, it's a supplier of excellent Scottish produce, sourced with pride and dedication by owner and local food hero Fred Berkmiller. Although the surroundings feel slightly more rustic than its elegant West End sibling, the menu is similar and serves all the expected Gallic classics with a slight Caledonian slant. So you get Isle of Lewis mussels served ‘Cullen skink style’ with smoked haddock, or a duo of Borders roe deer and pigeon. Provenance is writ large in l’Escargot: it's now well known that the snails come from the tiny Scottish island of Barra (as far as possible), and you're as likely to find North Ronaldsay mutton on the menu as you are confit duck and French cheese. Desserts are along the classic lines of crème brûlée or prunes in Armagnac – but it won't take much to be persuaded instead into a spot of fromage, from a cheeseboard that’s temptingly laid out in full view of this charming restaurant.
- High point: Fantastic fromage
- Low point: Unsurprisingly, not much for vegetarians here
- Notable dish: Border roe deer and pigeon duo served with sweet potato and carrot purée
- Private dining: Up to 16 covers
- Provides: Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: French radio
- Capacity: 58
- Largest group: 58 / 16
- Open since: 2009
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 16
- House wine: £19.90 per bottle
Reviews & features
Christmas Food Q&A: Fred Berkmiller – L’escargot Bleu & Blanc17 Nov 2015
Edinburgh chef divulges his top festive tips
Christmas should be fun and stress-free when it comes to cooking. A slowly cooked casserole is great, there’s no reason for not cooking a leg of lamb and a nice shoulder of beef on the corner of the AGA.
Q&A: Fred Berkmiller – L’escargot Bleu & Blanc27 Oct 2014
Owner talks festive food as Christmas approaches
How does your restaurant change in look and atmosphere in December? What effect are you hoping for? Both of our restaurants have put on our Christmas fur so we're extremely warm and winter friendly for the wintry season. What are the challenges in…
Neighbourhood Watch: Broughton Street, Edinburgh9 Jan 2012
A guide to Edinburgh's hip gay hub
What’s it like? A street full of bars, restaurants and delightful eateries nestled underneath old tenement flats. Ideal for stuffing your face full of food and hitting a pub with friends just a stone’s throw from the centre of the city. Where’s it…
A guide to some of the best restaurants in Edinburgh16 Feb 2011
The Scottish capital has some of the best restaurants for Scottish cuisine
Some visitors may come to Scotland with a sense of dread that they’ll be force-fed salty porridge or be obliged to eat everything deep fried in fat. It’s true that the more adventurous may well encounter food here they’re unlikely to find elsewhere…
Fred Berkmiller on Gartmorn Farm chicken17 Sep 2010
The Larder: Chef's Choice
It’s not everyday a Frenchman will admit that non-Gallic produce rivals their own. Fred Berkmiller, of Edinburgh’s L’Escargot chain, on why Scottish Gartmorn chicken cuts it as an alternative to the famous authenticated Poularde de Bresse.