New menu at Contini, Edinburgh

Contini Edinburgh italian

Contini bring modern Italian food home

I’ve just had lunch at the refurbished Contini and it isn’t an overstatement to say that it was outstanding!  Gone are the traditional Italian meals passed down from grandparents. Contini feel confident enough to spread their wings, rebel and show off what modern Italians, especially modern Scottish-Italians are eating.

The decor has been revamped, offering banquette seating, booths and naughty wallpaper!

Contini George street edinburgh

We dined on a selection of plates.  The menu is designed for sharing but some larger secondi courses can be eaten on their own if you’ve picked out a particular dish.

First up – golden homemade ciabatta served with Fontodi olive oil and creamed butter. The ciabatta was sponge-like, none of that chewy and cardboard like stuff we are all used to.  The Olive oil was strong, but it worked well with the creamy butter.  As a carb-fiend, I would have been happy eating this all day!

Contini Edinburgh italian

Next up, sharing plates of Salame (£6). Salame Calabrese, roasted aubergine, mint, creme fraiche, pomegranate and pistachio crumb…

Contini Edinburgh italian

This was my favourite dish – summer on a plate.  The salami had a pleasant kick (the mint cream calmed it down!).

Next, mozzarella di bufala (£6). Mozzarella di bufala DOP with figs, Italian honey and sourdough toast.   The best mozzarella you will taste outside of Italy, believe me!

Contini Edinburgh italian

Agnolotti (£6.50). Homemade filled egg pasta with spinach, nutmeg and ricotta. Served with butter and basil sugo.  Perfectly-cooked pasta, non-mushy with a firm interior.  The sugo wasn’t suitably tart to offset the ricotta.

Contini Edinburgh italian

Secondi course up now with Cervo (£16). Scottish venison haunch, cavolo nero, roasted balsamic onions, fried figs and aceto di musto. Melting venison, beautifully-cooked and extremely moreish.

Contini Edinburgh italian

Another secondi: Merluzzo (£16). This is cod poached in coldpressed olive oil with fennel, samphire and chilli.  WOW!  If you try one dish here, get this.  It’s not oily as you would think but delicately-cooked cod which is full of flavour.

Contini Edinburgh italian

Side salads included Cavolfiori (£3.50). Shaved cauliflower with porcine and lemon oil, breadcrumbs and Venetian spiced walnuts. There’s more to cauliflower than having it with cheese (I know it’s the best!) but try this. It’s different and a mix of flavours.

Contini Edinburgh italian

The other salad was Finocchio (£3.50). Fennel, Tarocco orange salad, green olives and acacia honey.  The blood orange grated throughout the dressing gave this a summer feel with a taste that even I as a non-fennel eater loved.

Finally! Time to try some Bombolini (£5). Hot homemade doughnuts with a delicious chocolate sauce. Fluffy and far too easy to eat!

Contini Edinburgh italian

I was highly impressed with the new Contini. It embraces local ingredients and is moving forward with Italian cuisine, showing us a standard of restaurant that many others should aspire to. To key to successful modern Italian dining in Scotland should not be stodgy pasta and risotto dishes.

Contini Edinburgh italian

This is a place for sharing and discussing your dinner.  Come in with your partner and swap dishes all night (but probably best not swapping your partner!).


Contini Ristorante, George St, Edinburgh

A short walk from waverley train station and Princes St bus routes.


Tel: 0131 225 1550





Glasgow Foodie
Glasgow Foodie

Mrs Foodie aka Emma loves to snuggle with Fred and Cleo, sleep and read.

Can be found with gin or a pint in hand.

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