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An upmarket bistro that avoids pompousness. Steaks are recommended, although sugar lovers will be most impressed by the desserts
This is a smart option that’s mercifully free of the stiff airs and graces you’d normally expect. It’s not even the poshest in the Martin Wishart portfolio; his eponymous Leith restaurant won Edinburgh’s first Michelin star, and he has another restaurant near Loch Lomond that’s also Michelin-starred. The Honours however, is what the Edinburgh chef calls the ‘less formal’ of the three, and is Wishart’s interpretation of a bistro.
It’s brasserie food with the stops pulled out, and it’s not unusual for three members of staff to be tending a table at once – topping up things, unveiling others, wordlessly de-crumbing a messy bit of tablecloth. They never cross the line into obsequiousness, though, and the atmosphere stays friendly, rather than servile. The restaurant is famous for its steaks – the Chateaubriand in particular, hints the waiter (ever-so- slightly suspiciously, perhaps, seeing as, at £69 it’s also the most expensive thing on the menu). In fact, meat lovers should take note of ‘Le Weekend Offer’, an unfussy but excellent roast rib of beef for two, fries, a bottle of malbec and coffee for £48, served on a Saturday, at the off-peak feasting time of 3-6pm. Desserts are a highlight. The non- sweet-toothed can get a plate of cheese from Henri’s – a French deli in Morningside – or else there’s the souffle du jour, plus rotating spots from the likes of a sharing tarte tatin with cinnamon ice cream, or dainty sundaes with caramelised bananas and crunchy pecans.
If the wines haven’t done the job, there’s also a pretty special Zacapa espresso with 23-year-old rum and creme de cacao to round things off, or finish you off – depending on how much you’ve pushed the boat out already.