*The Roamin’ Nose is now closed, but still remains one of my favourite ever restaurants*
This post can only start one way: The Roamin’ Nose is without a doubt my favourite restaurant in Edinburgh. Now this is a pretty monumental statement because I don’t employ the term “favourite” without just cause.
Anyone who has watched Seinfeld knows that there are countless scenes in Jerry’s local coffee shop. There was once a time in my life when I thought, “Why would anyone ever become a regular customer at a cafe when there are so many options out there?”. How naive of me, eh? The Roamin’ Nose has completely changed my stance on this and I for one am happy to proclaim myself a regular at this superb establishment.
The Roamin’ Nose serves Scottish-Italian food that is simultaneously ideal for a bite away from home and for special occasion meals. Don’t want to cook to tonight? Go to The Roamin’ Nose. Catching up with a friend? Go to The Roamin’ Nose. Celebrating a new job? Go to The Roamin’ Nose. Going through a break up? Go to The Roamin’ Nose. You get the idea.
Their menu is versatile yet focused, sophisticated yet unpretentious. Over my years of exploring restaurants and cafes, I’ve learned that a small menu is often a sign of quality food. Kitchen staff aren’t burdened by a broad menu, and as a result, the few dishes on offer are made exceedingly well. This is exactly what earns The Roamin’ Nose a glowing reputation in city so full of dining options.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been to The Roamin’ Nose and for the record, I have never been disappointed. The food is always seasonal and flavourful, while the service is always gentle and attentive. This is the first place where I always bring visitors, be they family or friends. I never hesitate to organize group dinners or to celebrate my own birthday here because The Roamin’ Nose is a surefire foodie win. I can always rely on this place for a quality meal that warms my soul with genuine foodie happiness.
The Roamin’ Nose is owned by Lucy and Stefano; they are the couple that brings this place to life. Lucy, the front of house and baker, takes care of customers ever so gracefully and Stefano, an Italian, is the head chef with a knack for creating rich flavour pairings. The ambiance at The Roamin’ Nose is welcoming and friendly, and most notably a big window fills the bistro with natural light. Behind the scenes, each dish, dessert and coffee is made with care and attention to detail and it really shows.
I know that this was a huge preamble about The Roamin’ Nose, but I love this place so much that saying anything less would be doing you all a disservice (and it would be an outrageous crime against food lovers everywhere). Now let’s get to the food!
First of all, “The Roamin’ Chips”. Holy mother of potatoes, they are incredible. These are easily the best chips I’ve ever had (they don’t even need ketchup!). No lunch or dinner visit is complete without a basket of these perfectly salted potato coins. They’re like a hybrid between a potato chip and a fry. I don’t know how they make these heavenly potato bites, but what I do know is that they are unparalleled. GET THEM!
In the realm of appetisers, The Roamin’ Nose offers soups, homemade pesto with bread, mixed olives, and a mixed board with cheeses, fine Italian meats, pestos, and chutneys. My favourite appetiser is always the crostini: crunchy slices of bread topped with cheese and a homemade chutney. The crostini also take on seasonal flavours like fig chutney with parma ham or goat’s cheese with honey and grilled peaches. Seriously, I can’t even deal with how good the flavours are here.
Lunch usually entails a selection of burgers, sandwiches and their famous warm salads. The warm salads are an innovative concoction of vibrant ingredients. On a bed of greens you might find sweet potato, beetroot, tender stem broccoli and quinoa or you’ll dig into roast squash, parsnip, French beans, beetroot and coley. Occasionally, even I order the healthiest meal on the menu (I do love vegetables) and the warm salads are perfect if you want to feel less guilty about dessert. Alternatively, you might opt for the “Roamin’ fish and chips”, which are a far cry from the oily haddock slabs you get at the local chippy. The batter is infused with rosemary and provides the perfect crunch to accompany the fresh fish.
The influence of Italian cuisine is most evident in the dinner menu, which boasts a selection of homemade pastas, grilled meats, and grilled fish. Instead of explaining how good the dinner plates are, a list of dishes will do the talking. There may be some commentary in brackets because I couldn’t stop myself…
- Homemade ravioli filled with mushrooms, ricotta, parsley and grana padano sautéed with butter, thyme and sage. (YES, YES, YES).
- Pan Seared Hake fillet served over grilled figs, sweet potato, avocado & Parma ham (I’ve had this. Divine!).
- Grilled venison haunch streak served over sautéed carrots, Jerusalem artichokes and pancetta stewed with puy lentils.
- Homemade caserecce with aubergines, basil, tomato sauce & Sardinian ricotta (homemade pasta FTW).
- Homemade black potato gnocchi with dolcelatte, walnuts, a splash of cream & courgette & squash ribbons (Want. Now).
- Veggie meatballs made with mixed beans, sunblushed tomatoes, paprika, and pumpkin seeds served with smashed pumpkin sautéed with tomatoes and halloumi (I need this in my life).
Clearly, nothing else needs to be said about the main dishes. They sound, look, and taste amazing. The end.
The desserts are not to be missed either. A changing selection of homemade cakes and tarts decorate the front counter and catch your eye as you walk in. However, my go-to dessert here is the tiramisu. It’s authentic, creamy, and light. If they have the tiramisu on their dessert counter, 9 times out of 10 I get it because I just can’t resist. Alternatively, The Roamin’ Nose occasionally stocks “medovnik”, a traditional Bohemian honey cake. Before seeing it at The Roamin’ Nose, I had never even heard of it. Now I get super excited when I see it on their counter. When I first walk in, I usually creep the dessert counter and if medovnik is there, I tell Lucy to save me a piece. I’ve had it there in two flavours – honey and cocoa. Both are amazing. It’s all thanks to The Roamin’ Nose that I actively sought out medovnik when I travelled to Slovakia and Prague. It’s not unheard of for me to order the tiramisu and the medovnik. Thankfully, Lucy never judges me when I do this. What a saint!
So obviously this whole post has been gigantic love fest (#sorrynotsorry). Now it’s time for you to get to 14 Eyre Place and to fall in love with The Roamin’ Nose yourself.