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February 12, 2019

On Slateford Road, Rosario Sartore has launched Nero a Metà.

Chef patron Rosario has long been a fixture on Edinburgh's restaurant scene and his two existing restaurants - Locanda de Gusti and Pizzeria 1926 - always seem pretty busy whenever we have been in the area.

Regional dishes are the focus of the new place with the menu changing every day depending on what looks good and is in season.

Your blogger makes no claims to be an expert on Italian cuisine. However, we have heard it said that Italian cooking doesn't really exist on a national level but that each region has its own distinct repertoire of fiercely guarded recipes.

Nero a Metà looks set to capitalise on the country's regional specialities. Rosario will be providing the inspiration for dishes with their roots in both the South and the North of Italy while Lorenzo Nicolini and Giuseppe Magrone grew up in Lombardy and Puglia, respectively.

Among other choices, the current sample menu includes a dish of calves' liver marinated in Sardinian beer and another of rolled plaice fillets served in a fish stock with peas and beaten egg.

Apparently, the latter is typical of Puglia. The main pic, taken from the restaurant's Facebook, shows guazzetto - a cannellini bean stew with fresh mussels, cod,olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs.

New Italian on Gilmore Place

Over at Gilmore Place, Gali's Kitchen has opened its doors.

Billed as an 'Italian restaurant and pizzeria', it offers options such as linguine with seafood and cherry tomatoes; lamb chops marinated with rosemary, garlic and a white wine sauce plus a selection of pizza.

The 5pm Dining blog hopes that both new businesses enjoy plenty of bums on seats.

Casual enoteca menu

Skipping across to the South Bridge, Mono has launched a casual enoteca or wine bar menu designed to be enjoyed at the bar, preferably with a glass of wine and friends.

Opened in the summer of 2018, Mono has always been very ambitious. The objective is to offer a 'progressive Italian fine dining experience'; something rather different from the more homely, trattoria-style which many Italian restaurants aim for.

Sample choices on the enoteca menu include sourdough with lardo di Colonata and pickled onions; a dish of octopus, chickpeas, fennel and grapefruit and an onion bun with ox tongue and salsa verde.

The restaurant calls it an 'an ingredient-led tour of Italy’s very best produce and regional gastronomy'.

Wealth of Italian culinary heritage

Owner Joe Crolla has said:

'People think they know Italian food but Scotland still only knows half of it. There’s more to it than just pizza and pasta and our new menu has been carefully put together to draw out a more contemporary approach to Italian food and drink with hero ingredients like lardo di Colonata. There’s a wealth of Italian culinary heritage but at its core is a respect for the very best ingredients. This menu is designed to encourage people to think again and understand more contemporary Italian cuisine.'

The enoteca menu is available Tuesday to Sunday. Until the 17th of February, Mono is running a soft launch with 25% off all enoteca menu dishes.

Mono has introduced a casual enoteca menu.

Mono has introduced a casual enoteca menu.