Thoroughly excited about yummy Italian food at any point, the prospect of visiting The Roamin’ Nose on an especially cold night was particularly welcome. We were warmly greeted by the waitress/owner/manager and the Hallowe’en lanterns helped set the mood as we were ushered into the bustling restaurant.
As a place for breakfast, lunch, coffee and cake and supper, the multi-functional area has more of a cafe feel but is inviting nonetheless. Browsing the Hallowe’en special menu, complete with drops of “blood”, we selected a bottle of Chianti (£22) from the patriotically Italian list. Missing any form of description we had to ask our waitress for more information on the wines, which was readily supplied. There is also a compact but well selected list of beers and cocktails.
To start we chose two dishes from the Small Bites menu which functions as a starter list or an option to try a selection of the kitchen’s offerings. The sautéed beans and chorizo (£3) had a slight kick of spice and were a perfect option for a cold night. Cost-effectively, the chorizo is crumbled into the beans, however neither of us felt larger chunks would add to the taste at all. The shredded fried beef with sage (£3), not the healthiest option, was utterly delicious. The combination of the lightly breaded beef and sage was incredibly moreish although the addition of salt, fine for us, was perhaps a touch heavy-handed for some.
Following on we shared the Hallowe’en Rise of the Pumpkin Risotto (£8) and the meat and cheese board (£10). The risotto was light and fluffy with soft chunks of pumpkin and crumbled sausage. A touch less oil would have been welcome, though. The meat and cheese board was generously portioned, but we would have like a fuller description of the various items.
Although the cakes in the counter were very appealing we passed. A less cafe-style dessert may have tempted but that option is missing from the menu as yet. With friendly staff and a great quality of produce, this is one to watch, especially if it puts as much effort and enthusiasm into making it a success as it did into Hallowe’en. The only worry is that it is trying to tick too many boxes. Having said that I can’t wait to go back to try the French toast!
• The Roamin’ Nose, 14 Eyre Place, 0131-629 3135, www.theroaminnose.com