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L’Escargot Blanc, Edinburgh

Quality food waiting for our table was embarassing

Long-established French restaurant

L’Escargot Blanc, 17 Queensferry Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4QW

RATING: Food 4; Service 1; Ambience 3; Drink selection 4; Toilets 2; Website 3

LET’S get one thing clear straight away. The food – French using a Scottish larder – is distinctive but… Yes, were went on a busy Saturday night. We had booked a table two weeks previously and turned up bang on time but had to stand and wait in a busy area inside the restaurant – there is no other location – for nearly 20 minutes. Then, the guests who were at the table we had been allocated, muttered their disappointment at us waiting, putting them, they alleged, under pressure. “I got indigestion,” said one. Later, after ordering and being told I was lactose intolerant, they brought butter with the initial bread offering and I had to ask for olive oil and balsamic. L’Escargot Blanc is busy but they’ve had 20 years to perfect their offering. The unpretentious, upstairs restaurant has a lively French atmosphere, but it is incredibly noisy and the toilets, well the men’s had blue towel paper in the sink and the paper towel bin was full to overflowing. Oh, the food. It was distinctive, interesting and French. It was hard to fault it – it could have been a tad hotter – and I’d have rather talked about it than the other issues. The lack of customer care disappointed me. That’s important when prices are at the top end.