The Italian Kitchen is tucked away in a little Victorian basement right in the middle of Stockbridge in Edinburgh. We have passed it many times and decided to give it a go a few weeks back. Suffice to say, we enjoyed it so much that we went back last Friday.
It’s a small place – just 11 tables – and on the first properly cold night of the season (a touch of hail earlier) the restaurant was not too busy, though we were eating early. Even so, the place is cosy and friendly, with couples, family gatherings, young children and crusty old married types (like us) all enjoying their evening. And the staff match the atmosphere: young, friendly and looking genuinely pleased to be serving you. Well, that’s a good start.
A varied menu plus seasonal specials is provided by local butchers and fishmongers where we also shop, so it’s bound to be good! A good mix of standard Italian menu items – pizza, pasta, carne and pesce – turn up on your plate cooked in proper Italian style: al dente pasta with fresh accompaniments, rather than drowned in the meaty or creamy sauces we are so used to in the UK.
And tasty! The sort of food that has you planning when you can come next and who you can bring, before you are half way through your main course. I started with a Cream of Garlic Soup followed by Penne with Italian sausage, Calabrian Chili Salame Paste and cooked in beer. Mrs WeeKeef went to the specials board – Pumpkin Ravioli and then the biggest Wild Boar Chop I have ever seen, caramelised and served with winter vegetables. She couldn’t speak for concentrating so hard!
Going back to a place for a second time is a risky business, but we were not disappointed. There will be a third …