Two great finds in Edinburgh, one we sought out and one we just stumbled upon. We ducked into the Villager, 49-50 George IV Bridge, expecting a simple pub lunch, and instead found an ambitious kitchen. My salmon fillet rolled around noodles in a light teriyaki sauce and served over stir-fried greens was delicious, and my husband enjoyed his warm chicken salad with a mustard sauce. They brought a carafe of chilled water with mint springs and lengthwise-sliced cucumbers in it; refreshing and attractive, and welcome since Scotland was unseasonably warm last week.
We sought out Martin, 70 Rose Street N, because we had heard the cheeses were outstanding; they were, as was the service and the welcome we received from the proprietors. We received an entertaining and interesting dissertation about each artisanal cheese, complete with a photo of a Jersey cow whose beneficience made one of them possible. I know that sounds gimmicky, but it wasn't, and the cheeses (and onion soup we had before) were awesome.
After we escaped from our tour group, we spent two luxurious days at the Ardeonaig Hotel, on the banks of Loch Tay. Chef/proprietor Pete Gottgens runs a South African-influenced kitchen and has a cellar full of interesting South African wines. He does lamb especially well, and desserts were voluptuous, especially the sultana/apricot tart. This would be a wonderful place to spend an anniversary weekend or other special occasion.
Re: the discussion on another board about bringing food back from Edinburgh, oh how I wanted to bring back some of those cheeses!