Sunday, July 24, 2016

Angels with Bagpipes

On one of our days that we spent walking around Edinburgh, we decided to do a little fine dining and made reservations at Angels with Bagpipes, which is located on The Royal Mile.  I had a cousin that recommended this restaurant to me after she had dined there the previous year.  In addition to her recommendations, the Internet also offered up favorable reviews of this establishment which served up fresh Scottish Cuisine.
Bread and Oil
After ordering drinks, our waiter brought out some bread and oil  The fresh bread was fantastic and helped ease the hunger pains in my belly.  For my entree, I ordered the Fillet Steak topped with garlic butter.  My steak was cooked to perfection and the garlic butter gave it a little extra flavor kick that set it over the edge of greatness!  Without question, this was the best fillet (filet for us Americans) that I have had in a at least a couple of years.  It was served with an order of "chips", which were crispy and quite good in their own right.
Fillet
Chips (Fries)
My wife ordered the Salmon.  It was served with wild garlic and gnocchi.  As impressive as my steak was, her salmon was equally unimpressive.  My wife thought it tasted overly fishy and couldn't even finish it.  I sampled some myself and it did have a funny taste to it and was the worst of three salmon meals I tried on this visit to Scotland.  Our waiter was very gracious and insisted on having the chef remove it from our bill, which he did.
Salmon
Angels with Bagpipes is a very quaint restaurant with a comfortable fill to it.  Although the salmon was disappointing, I was quite happy with the quality and flavor of my steak.  The service was friendly and accommodating.  Since we had plans later that night, we skipped dessert, but they did have several interesting looking options on their menu.

Angels with Bagpipes
http://www.angelswithbagpipes.co.uk/the-restaurant/
Livin the Good Life Rating=3
Angels With Bagpipes Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Chaophraya

There are no shortages of restaurants in Edinburgh, but there is a big variation in quality.  My wife and I both love Thai food and Chaophraya came highly recommended by food bloggers, travel sites, and a couple of locals we met.  This restaurant is located on the fourth floor of a building located on Castle Street and offers an amazing view of Edinburgh Castle if you are lucky enough to secure a table with a view.  We waited too long to secure a reservation with a view, but we were still able to get into the restaurant with only one day's notice.
Asian Platter Appetizer
Following the recommendation of our waitress, we ordered  the Asian Platter as an appetizer.  This large appetizer included chicken satay, prawn tempura, chicken spring rolls, marinated pork with honey and Thai herbs, and a crispy duck salad.  Each one of these items was delicious, but my favorites were the prawn tempura (6-8 inches long and fried to perfections) and the marinated pork with honey (think sweet bacon).  My wife was partial to the spring rolls, which were also quite delightful.
Chicken Pad Thai
Spicy Fried Rice with Beef and Basil 
Coconut Rice
For entrees, we share an order of Chicken Pad Thai and Spicy Fried Rice with Beef and Basil.  The Pad Thai was amongst the best I have ever had and the other entree, which was the chef's signature dish, was delicious, but not overly spicy.  My wife and I also ordered a side of the coconut rice, which was sticky and went well with the two dishes.  I really couldn't pick which entree I liked best, because both were amazing.
Thai Mango Sticky Rice
For dessert, we shared an order of Thai Mango Sticky Rice.  It was not overly sweet, but was a tasty and light, which we needed after eating way too much prior to dessert.  Chaophraya  was arguably the best meal we had in Edinburgh and perhaps the best Thai food I have ever had.  In addition to the wonderful food, the service was spectacular.  The restaurant has beautiful decor and the views are hard to beat.  If we ever return to visit Edinburgh, this restaurant would be #1 on my list to revisit!
My date for the evening 
Chaophraya
http://chaophraya.co.uk
Livin the Good Life Rating=5
Chaophraya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Steak

My wife and I recently visited Scotland for a vacation and to celebrate our 10th anniversary.  Upon arriving in Edinburgh, the concierge at our hotel, The Glasshouse, recommended dining at Steak, which was a short walk from the hotel.  I had previously read favorable review about this restaurant, so we dined there on our second night in town.
Bread and Butter
After ordering drinks, our waitress brought us some homemade bread and some sparkling water.  Both were delicious and we inhaled the bread.  For our main course, we both decided to order the Donald Russell Fillet and share sides of Bacon and Cheese Macaroni and Buttered Mashed Potatoes.  
Donald Russell Fillet (Filet) 
Bacon and Cheese Macaroni
Mashed Potatoes
When the main course arrived, we couldn't wait to dig in.  The steaks were perfectly seasoned and cooked to a perfect medium rare.  It was also nicely charred, which added to the flavor.  Both sides were commendable, but the Bacon and Cheese Macaroni was some of the best mac & cheese that I have had in recent memory.
Creme Brûlée 
For dessert, we shared a Creme Brûlée with mixed berries.  It was very good as well and my wife claimed it was the best she could remember having.  The service was courteous and helpful, despite the fact we arrived just one hour before they closed for the evening.  Overall, we were impressed with our first fine dining experience in Edinburgh and I was pleased to know they could cook a steak as good as we do back home in Texas!

Steak
http://www.steakedinburgh.com/new/
Livin the Good Life Rating=4
Steak Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Rye. Craft Food and Drink

In recent blog posts, I have described what a great destination Downtown McKinney has become, especially for foodies.  Several new restaurants have opened on the Square and one can easily find delicious restaurants with a variety of cuisines.  Earlier this year, Rye. Craft Food and Drink, opened in between Square Burger and Bien Salsa.  Since it has opened, my family has had the opportunity to eat there a couple of times and we have been impressed on both occasions.  

Below are some items that I have tried and my opinions of them:

Eggs Benedict- For brunch each Sunday, Rye offers an Eggs Benedict of the Day.  On one occasion, they offered pulled chicken atop bread pudding that was covered in chipotle Hollandaise sauce.  On another visit, they Benny of the Day was smoked Prime brisket atop house-made ricotta and fried green tomatoes, then topped with chive Hollandaise sauce.  Both were yummy, but I particularly liked the variety with the brisket and fried green tomatoes.
Chicken and Chipotle Hollandaise Sauce atop Bread Pudding 
Smoked Prim Brisket and House-made Ricotta atop Fried Green Tomatoes with Chive Hollandaise Sauce
Biscuit Slider Trio - Biscuit slider served with three different ingredients: crispy ham with local preserves, friend chicken with local honey, and applewood-smoked bacon, tomato, and goat cheese.  Although a little on the small side, the biscuits were delicious and I particularly liked the ham and the fried chicken.  
Rye Burger- 8 oz. burger served with rye-whiskey mustard, aged white cheddar, and a buttered brioche bun.  Simple burger, but the beef had a nice char and the veggies were fresh.  The mustard can be a little over-powering, so I recommend using it in moderation.  
Pancakes- Ordered these as a side and they were served with maple vanilla syrup.  I thought they were quite good and on a future visit, I will have to order the variety topped with Nutella and bacon.
Both of our visits have been at brunch, but we have liked the items we have tried so far.  My wife and I plan on dining here for dinner at some point and trying some of their dinner entrees like their steaks, pan roasted grouper, or chile-rubbed pork tenderloin.  Although the space is very intimate and has limited seating, the service had been exceptional on both visits and we like the rustic decor of the restaurant.  This place is certainly another welcome addition to the McKinney Square. 

Rye. Craft Food and Drink
http://www.ryemckinney.com
Livin the Good Life Rating=4
Rye. Craft Food and Drink Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato