Contini George Street
- Telephone 0131 225 1550
- Opening times Mon–Thu 8am–11pm; Fri & Sat 8am–midnight; Sun 11am–6pm.
- Seasonal times During the festival, kitchen open till midnight, bar till 1am
- Bar open Mon–Sun until midnight.
- Food served Mon–Fri 7.30am–10pm; Sat 9am–11pm; Sun 9am–10pm.
- Pre-theatre times Sun–Thurs
- Average price £12.50; rapido lunch £10 – pasta dish and glass of wine (set lunch); £19 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £12.50
- Website www.contini.com/contini-ristorante
February 2017 sees a fresh new look and menu for Contini. Expect a less formal feel, with a focus on sharing plates plus classic Italian aperitivi in the new bar area.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
If it’s something of a challenge to reproduce the welcome of a local trattoria in a cavernous former banking hall, Victor and Carina Contini are the people to make it work. Tables are neatly filed among the vast corinthian columns and, while there’s not a lot of elbow room, the atmosphere is so relaxing, the staff so positive, the food so promptly and perfectly presented, that no-one worries. The menu changes monthly to reflect ingredients sourced from artisan producers in Scotland and Italy. Burrata – an ultra-creamy mozzarella – is ambrosial, served with salty speck; fresh ravioli hold their spinach-and-ricotta filling perfectly in a luscious pool of butter, sage and caramelised almonds. Tagliata di manzo is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach – steak sliced into revealing pink louvres under a lacy throw of rocket and parmesan – while grigliata di mare is a generous, high-quality plateful of fish and shellfish enlivened with chilli, garlic and lemon butter. Contini is also big at breakfast time, offering everything from traditional full Scottish to cutting-edge organic porridge with spinach and hazelnuts, not to mention killer scrambled eggs and faultless coffee.
- High point: Unique combination of style and warmth
- Low point: More space between tables would be nice – get a booth!
- Notable dish: Tagliata di manzo; breakfast scrambled eggs
- Private dining: Up to 28 covers
- 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: Relaxing jazz and pop
- Live entertainment: Jazz and 'secret opera' during the Festival
- Capacity: 120
- Largest group: 120
- Open since: 2004
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 21
- House wine: £19.50 per bottle