This is the story of two friends, Giacomo and Richard, who once worked at the Sheraton. A charming waiter and skilled chef, deeply passionate about food and wine, who ten years ago decided to open their own restaurant.
The inspiration came when the Sheraton closed for refurbishment, and Giacomo’s boss said, “Congratulations, you’re being transferred to Korea.”
With a wife and young family, Giacomo had absolutely no intention of leaving Edinburgh. So his answer was simply, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
This life-changing decision was soon followed by another, going into business with his friend Richard. And thus, Zucca opened its doors.
As well as great food and wine, this is restaurant all about pre-theatre dining.
Not only is it next door to Lyceum Theatre, it’s actually in the same building. The Usher Hall is ten seconds away, and the Edinburgh Filmhouse just across the street.
And then there’s the food, that’s both reasonably priced (18.95 for three courses) and utterly delicious.
Isaac kicked off with a generous plate of Italian cured meat and cheeses – which he said was scrumptious, but neglected to share.
Meanwhile I was wowed by the Pig’s Head terrine with apple and plum chutney. In fact, from now on I will picture it whenever I’m feeling sad.
Next, I dived in to a large bowl of Gnocchi, spinach and pinenuts, with a dolce latte cheese sauce. Very, very good. But the real star was Isaac’s pick: Roasted swordfish steak, sautéed spinach with a tomato sauce, and a gremolata dressing.
Seriously, it was legendary …
The individual components were amazing, especially the tomato sauce, but working together they make your tastebuds dance. I know this, because after finishing my own dinner in record time, I set to helping Isaac with his.
Topped off with one helping of tiramisu and one banana cheesecake, we thought dinner was fantastic.
We also appreciated Giacomo’s advice on wine. As dedicated drinkers of new world vinos, we were a little thrown by the all-Italian menu, but his recommendations were bang on.
And by the way, wine tastings are a regular thing at Zucca, so perhaps we’ll soon be expanding our horizons (and waistlines) even further.
Derek & Isaac dined as guests of Zucca.
Reviewed March 2017
15 – 17 Grindlay Street, EH3 9AX
0131 221 9323