One of the reasons Papilio opened in bustling Bruntsfield more than 20 years ago because it is has a village in a city feel.
It has a wonderful mix of students, professionals and permanent residents and we’ve enjoyed this atmospheric Italian restaurant several times in recent years. We have always felt at home.
The owners believe there are two essential ingredients in running a successful restaurant business, food, prepared with care, and personal service. The slick service and friendly atmosphere – nothing appears too much trouble – means diners return again and again.
Papilio, by the way, is an ancient word from Latin, meaning butterfly, and the menu seeks to provide an eclectic mix to suit all tastes. It certainly did for our group. Starters were interesting, and the veal and potato was tempting but the waiter eloquently described their home-made meatballs in tomato sauce with garlic bread I was sold.
Others tucked into melanzane alla parmigiana (aubergines baked with cheese and tomato). This vegetarian dish was packed with flavour.
Our mains included scaloppina funghi e crema (veal cooked in wine with mushrooms and crème), scaloppina alle romana (veal with sage, white wine and parma ham) and bistecca pizziola (a juicy sirloin with a wonderful white wine, herb, garlic and a tomato sauce) and pollo papilio (breast of chicken stuffed with spinach and cheese in breadcrums with garlic lemon and white wine sauce).
It makes me hungry writing this and, if this was not enough, some could not resist the home-made tiramisu. It was described as an Italian pick me-up and how right the waiter was. It was sensational and a talking point going home in the car.
We’ve recommended this fine establishment to several people. None, even picky eaters, have been disappointed. Oh, children are welcome and gluten free pasta is also available.
Papilio, 158 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh EH10 4ER (t: 0131 229 3325) www.papiliorestaurant.com