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Scotland

Island of Skye
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6 Restaurants

From Andrew Harper:

Although Scotland comprises more than a third of the land area of Great Britain, it has a population of only 5 million. The Highlands may be spectacular, but the soil is of little use for agriculture. Most Scots live in the Lowlands, which contain the cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. The Kingdom of Scotland was a sovereign state until a “personal union” with England in 1603, when James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English throne. In 1707, Scotland entered into a political union with England to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. Today, Scotland retains its own Parliament, plus separate legal and educational systems. 

- Andrew Harper

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Restaurants

At his low-key establishment on the Royal Mile, chef and co-owner Paul Wedgwood brings together the feel of a French bistro and the superb produce of Scotland. Look for starters such as a terrine of ham hocks with sweet corn ice cream, capers, wild greens and piccalilli; or lobster thermidor crème brûlée with Parmesan shortbread. Among the ever-changing mains, keep an eye out for fillet of Scottish beef with seasonal vegetables, with a choice of truffled jus or a sauce of haggis, brandy and pepper. 

267 Canongate Edinburgh US$60 http://www.wedgwoodtherestaurant.co.uk

This innovative restaurant is set in a restored Georgian townhouse. Chef Paul Kitching’s menu changes weekly, but representative dishes include a risotto with an assiette of carrots, minted peas, mortadella, mozzarella and macadamias; beef fillet with Brazil nuts, prunes and turnips; and pink trout with smoked haddock, horseradish and kippers. Closed Sunday and Monday.

3 Royal Terrace Edinburgh US$75-US$110 (Prix Fixe). http://www.21212restaurant.co.uk/

Chef Dominic Jack has worked in some of Europe’s top kitchens, including as a sous chef at Taillevent in Paris. The restaurant is a model of comfortable contemporary style. Jack makes full use of fine Scottish produce. Representative dishes might include Orkney scallops with a pissaladière and wild arugula, monkfish wrapped in Ayrshire ham with sweet pepper marmalade and basil gnocchi, and saddle of roe deer with celery, celeriac, apple and caramelized walnuts. No children under age 5. Closed Sunday and Monday. 

33/35 Castle Terrace Edinburgh US$120; Eight-course Tasting Menu, US$115. http://www.castleterracerestaurant.com/

Martin Wishart brought Edinburgh its first Michelin star. Set in the docklands of Leith, this sophisticated restaurant has wood accents, muted colors and gentle lighting. Look for starters such as Orkney scallops with black truffles, Jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes and hazelnuts, or squab ravioli served in consommé with white radish and carrots. Main courses might include Dover sole, oysters and caviar with squid and herbs; or roe deer with braised lettuce, carrots, dates and barbecued onions. Closed Sunday and Monday.

54 The Shore Leith Edinburgh Three-course à la carte menu, US$105; Six-course tasting menu, US$115. http://www.martin-wishart.co.uk/home.aspx

In his waterfront restaurant, chef Tom Kitchin offers imaginative fare using seasonal produce in surprising combinations. Starters might include Orkney diver scallops with pancetta and purple broccoli, or a rich game terrine served with celeriac and orange. Among the main courses, look for dishes such as fillet of wild sea bass poached in red wine and served with creamed leeks, winkles and sea herbs; or Highland lamb with gnocchi, roasted vegetables and an olive-thyme jus. No children under age 5. Closed Sunday and Monday.

78 Commercial Quay Leith Edinburgh US$100; Eight-course Tasting Menu, US$135. http://www.thekitchin.com/kitchin/home

Located just off the Royal Mile with wonderful views down Victoria Street, this restaurant takes full advantage of Scotland’s superb seafood. Chef Roy Brett’s menu includes starters such as a rich fish and shellfish soup served in Provençal style with rouille, Gruyère and garlic croutons. Main courses might include whole grilled lemon sole with cockles and chorizo; and a fine grilled steak with Bearnaise sauce, chanterelles and thin-cut fried potatoes. Closed Sunday.

2 George IV Bridge Edinburgh US$70. http://www.ondinerestaurant.co.uk/

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