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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Go Gourmet in Edinburgh

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2. Where to Eat

There's craft beer in the garden and seasonal Scottish cooking on the menu at the new Blackfriars.  

Taste the Scottish culinary revolution at The Scran & Scallie, a casual, convivial gastropub that Michelin-starred chef de haute cuisine Tom Kitchin opened in the bohemian Stockbridge neighborhood last year. Grab a sheepskin-covered chair from the assortment of mismatched wood and wrought-iron furniture casually strewn about in a room filled with exposed-brick columns, cozy banquettes, and walls lined with vintage photographs. Dig into elevated pub fare like pumpkin soup with cinnamon cream ($9), Newhaven-crab-and-coriander ravioli ($12), and Kitchin’s killer fish and chips made with north Atlantic plaice ($24).

Go local at Blackfriars, a new Old Town eatery encompassing a bar and outdoor beer garden (with a rotating selection of 16 British craft beers and ciders) plus a white-walled restaurant overseen by chef Andrew Macdonald, who cut his teeth at local heavy-hitters like Martin Wishart and First Coast. The restaurant’s pendant lamps and casually distressed wood detailing may scream Cobble Hill, but Macdonald’s menu is seasonal Scottish country cooking at its finest: Try the hake with purple broccoli and potatoes ($27), followed by the apple-and-pear tart with spiced-pear sorbet ($11).

Stop in for a pint at The Hanging Bat, a rollicking new pub with 20 British beers on tap and 150 craft brews by the bottle (from $5), plus a 35-strong craft-gin list (from $4). Cozy up to the creative types and smoked meat enthusiasts who hang in the homey space, which has cocktail tables made from repurposed beer barrels, some tongue-in-cheek taxidermy, and imposing stone pillars that would do King Arthur proud. Go straight for one of the playfully prepared, signature hot dogs made from local Jonathan Crombie sausages (from $10), like the American Pit Bull, topped with chili con carne and shredded cheddar. Try yours with a pour of Scotland’s own Fyne Ales’s Hurricane Jack, or sober up with a cup of Edinburgh’s own BrewLab coffee or Roots Soda ($5).

Published on Mar 13, 2014 as a web exclusive.

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