As part of the research my latest piece for the Time Out blog, I paid a visit to well established Italian restaurant Vittoria. I needed a place where I could get a decent “carb-loading” meal (if you don’t know what that means, have a look at my article on Time Out!) and well, you can’t get a much better offering on that front than Vittoria.
Vittoria is the flagship restaurant of the Vittoria Group, who also run the beautiful Taste of Italy and pizza haven La Favourita. Just like the rest of their restaurants, Vittoria is an Italian establishment, however it is has a slightly more formal dining experience than Taste of Italy, and a wider menu focus than the pizza-centric La Fav.
Inside, the restaurant is fairly big with a dedicated dining area, a small coffee bar with a TV and a separate party room, which makes it ideal for parties and functions.
The interiors are quite classic, and you’ll find a right mix of people occupying the tables, from a group of girlfriends having a good ol’ gossip, an old couple enjoying a romantic meal, or a family having a birthday celebration – Vittoria is a universal favourite with a large cross-section of Edinburgh residents.
I was very much in the former group and took along a bunch of friends to enjoy a meal and a blether. I started with the arancini, which are small rice balls filled with melting cheese and bolognese, covered with breadcrumbs and fried. They were delicious, but I must admit I had ‘food envy’ for one of my dining companion’s bruschetta, which looked absolutely mouth-watering!
For my main course, I decided to have the restaurant’s speciality dish – tagliatelle alla Vittoria. It consisted of thick tagliatelle noodles, with a rich tomato sauce laced with cream, mushrooms, minced beef and spicy sausage. The sauce wasn’t too creamy though, and the spice in the sausage gave it just enough of a kick to be satisfying, but it wasn’t overwhelmingly spicy – the perfect balance. It was the first time I had tried it, but I’ll definitely be having it again.
A meal in Vittoria must always end with a desert. They have a decadent range of sundaes and desserts, as well as a long list of ice cream flavours, from which you can make your own combinations.
I am a sucker for hazelnut ice cream, so I decided to try that alongside their stracciatella flavour. I must admit I didn’t enjoy the hazelnut ice cream as much as I would have hoped – it had a bit of a strange gritty texture which distracted me from the rich, nutty taste. However, the stracciatella ice cream in comparison was lovely. It was smooth, sweet and decadent, and I was left wishing that I had ordered two scoops of it instead.
Vittoria has been around for 45 years, and it is easy to see why. Its varied menu with all the Italian classics makes it a solid choice for a meal out. Just be sure to save room for dessert so you can fill up on that beautiful stracciatella ice cream!
You can find Vittoria (website) on either Brunswick Street in Leith or George IV Bridge. The review above relates to Vittoria Leith. You can find it at 113 Brunswick Street, EH7 5HR. It’s at the top of Leith Walk, so pretty easy to find. Just walk down Elm Row and keep an eye out for it on the right hand side.