Welcome to Il Castello!
This Edinburgh institution has had a long deserved face lift. Il Castello is looking more refined, bright and airy with white walls dotted with monochrome photos, gilded cornicing, stone and wooden floors, new tables and chairs. The atmosphere is good humoured and manager Eliana Fernandes has been known to burst into song.
Owner Eliana may have changed the interior, but the menu remains the same with a good mix of pizza and pasta, meat and fish; the chicken is free range, steaks are Aberdeen Angus and fish is from Eddies. And, as always, I have a lip biting time trying to make up my mind. I’m swayed by Giardiniera – grilled mushrooms, aubergine and courgettes marinated alongside artichokes in garlic, herbs and a good slug of extra virgin olive oil. My husband, on the other hand has no problems.
As always it’s carbonara, a benchmark of a good restaurant in his opinion. The pasta is al dente with lots of bacon and molto, molto Parmesan - a simple dish, a comforting dish, a very satisfying dish. I go with Eliana’s recommendation loin of lamb for my next course. Rosemary flirting with the Parma ham wrapped meat, scattered with artichoke petals - an excellent combination of flavours. His Scaloppina della Casa – breadcrumbed veal, lightly fried, dressed with aubergine, tomato and molten cheese glaze is classic Italian.
The kitchen competently handles quality ingredients. This local trattoria may not offer fine dining, but it does give value for money. Where else in the city can you have a 9oz Aberdeen Angus fillet for under £20? House wine comes by the glass (large or small), by the litre or as a half. The rest of the wine list is sensibly priced too; our Vernaccia di San Gimignano at just £16.80 is a crisp yet fruity, very dry white, an excellent choice that complements our food perfectly. When it comes to pudding it has to be Eliana’s panna cotta, which he proudly announces that he made it himself. A creamy confection that’s light in texture. The apple pie may not be homemade but it could happily pass as one. Il Castello is a grand place for every generation who love to eat out as a family.
Content supplied by Artmag magazine.