Edinburgh: mussels for lunch, dinner at The Dogs
July 13, 2018
Walking through the Old Town, I started looking for somewhere to have lunch. Most of the menus on Victoria Street and the Royal Mile were pretty much interchangeable: “best haggis in town”, salmon, or steak and chips, and I was looking for something lighter.
Walking down Cockburn Street, I spotted a blackboard on the pavement outside Ecco Vino.
I peered inside the dark interior to ask for a table on the pavement. The open kitchen is just inside the entrance, and I was greeted by the appetising aroma of fresh seafood and garlic – I had struck lucky! The interior was a classic small Italian Enoteca, lined with bottles of wine.
Settled outside, I started with a side salad, which was a generous mix of mustardy leaves, ripe cherry tomatoes and a dusting of parmesan, for just £3. Then a small portion of Mussels for £9. I expected a bowl, but they arrived in a metal pot. They were a thing of beauty, in a wonderful wine and cream broth spiked with parsley and just a whisper of chilli. As I tucked in, I wondered whether I had been served a main course portion by mistake!
After an excellent espresso, I went back in to thank the chef, and asked him which region of Italy he was from; he turned out to be Spanish, and my mussels had been prepared by his Polish assistant.
Ecco Vino Seafood & Wine Bar, 19 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh EH1 1BP
going to the dogs
The Dogs is a quirky dining room situated on a first floor above a shop on Hanover Street, with daylight streaming in through the Georgian windows. The tables are packed close together, there’s a busy bar dispensing wine and cocktails, so it’s noisy, but it’s mostly noise generated by people having fun.
There’s a lot of meat on the menu (crunchy pigs’ ears, oxtail, ham hock, ox kidney), and the food is served on mismatched vintage china. It’s not all meat though, and we started our meal with a tangy smoked mackerel paté, which came with lightly pickled cucumber and sourdough toast. The wine list is good, with plenty of choices available by the glass or carafe.
The Dogs is well priced – you’re invited to use hashtags #dogsdinner and #valueformoney
The Dogs, 110 Hanover Street, Edinburgh EH2 1DR