Great Places to Eat in Scotland
- Bellini Italian Restaurant, Edinburgh

Bellini's is located at 8B Abercromby Place, in the centre of Edinburgh (telephone 0131 476 2602). This elegant dining room is in the heart of Edinburgh's Georgian New Town.

The Restaurant
If you want to experience the true taste of speciality regional Italian dishes, prepared by an absolute expert, then visit BELLINI to discover the authentic cuisine of the country. With pale blue walls and yellow tablecloths, it has a bright and sunny ambience, whatever the weather outside.

Chef Angelo Cimini was born and brought up in Villa Santa Maria in the region of Abruzzo, where he trained for seven years at the town's famous catering college, founded in the 13th century. Students must dedicate themselves to a lifetime of excellence in creative cooking. Angelo then completed his apprenticeship in a top class restaurant in Venice, where he cooked for such celebrity names as Sophia Loren, Omar Sharif and Charlie Chaplin.

In 1999 he arrived in Edinburgh to open Bellini with his wife Gina, who is a third generation Scot, of an Italian family.

The Food
A selection of hot and cold appetizers tempt the taste buds, including a light but tasty salad of chargrilled peppers swimming in a garlicky olive oil. My partner has a heartier appetite and began with Crespelle Carlos, a crepe filled with spinach and ricotta cheese and baked with a cream sauce. This was Chaplin's favourite dish and here at Bellini it's named after him.

If you're a pasta lover there is a wide choice: Taglioni Mare, served with seafood, or Puttanesca, with aubergine, olives and tomatoes as well as the chef`s speciality home-made ravioli dishes. The essence is using the best of Scottish produce blended with a distinctive Italian style of cooking using quality ingredients such as porcini mushrooms and exquisite imported black and white truffles. This is the restaurant for excellent fish - lobster, tiger prawns, sole, as well as a deliciously rich Risotto Venziana, packed full of fresh succulent sea-food. Veal - vitello - is a popular Italian main course, either pan fried with Madeira wine, or topped with mushrooms in a cream and avocado coulis. The wide-ranging menu featuring regional dishes from Venice, Sicily and Abruzzo, also offers chicken, steak and several imaginative vegetarian choices.

The Bill
Starters: £4 - £7. Main course: £10 - £15.00. Pudding/dessert: £ 3.00. Bottle of house wine £12.00.

Service is helpful, friendly, and very attentive. This is a quality restaurant with a fabulous menu of gourmet Italian food, to suit every taste. Whatever the occasion - a romantic meal for two, a business lunch or a lively family party, Angelo and his team are sure to offer you warm hospitality and a genuine Mediterranean feast.

Vivien Devlin

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