Located in the heart of the New Town, L'Escargot Bleu has fitted in well with its cosmopolitan neighbours, bringing a little bit of 'cuisine français' to Edinburgh.
Owners Betty Jourjon and Frederic Berkmiller have reinvigorated the brasserie concept by combining their passion for food with their knowledge of French cuisine. Indeed, the central concept of L'Escargot Bleu is a 'French twist using the best of Scotland', with the vast majority of ingredients sourced from the local area. The restaurant itself is refreshingly modern yet retains traditional French flair; each table is beautifully presented and the walls are adorned with pre-war Nicolitch advertisements.
L'Escargot Bleu serves a lunch and pre-theatre menu (both £7.90), as well as an evening à la carte menu, which changes on a daily basis. We visited for dinner and opted for a starter of poached prawns in consommé - a full-flavoured dish with tender, juicy prawns - and a traditional choice of pan-fried croustillant of snails and pigs trotter - a delicious dish of contrasts, colours and flavours. For mains we chose roasted Old Gloucester gammon accompanied by mustard mash - tender and moist, the meat was complemented perfectly by the tangy mash. We also sampled the vegetarian pearl barley, chestnuts and goat's cheese Wellington with a leek cream; light and crispy pastry encasing a complementary cocophony of ingredients. And for the finale - warmed tarte au chocolat with creme anglais, a light but chocolatey affair, followed a selection of French regional cheeses served with oatcakes, homemade onion chutney and a flavoursome plum jam.
With friendly, welcoming staff, a charming setting and a menu of excellent French food made using quality Scottish ingredients, L'Escargot Bleu is most certainly the 'creme de la creme' of Edinburgh eateries.