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Although owner Davie Howie Scott sold this likeable Edinburgh-based restaurant group back in 2006, he was so fond of the idea that he brought it back and re-launched it in 2011. The Victoria Street branch occupies a 600-year-old building hewn from the rocks below Edinburgh Castle, although it feels eminently warm, with a happy throng of tourists, shoppers and locals packed into the two dining rooms. Terrific lunchtime deals, theatre menus and comforting bistro cooking are the big draws, so expect haggis with neeps and tatties, Cullen skink and macaroni cheese alongside burgers, steaks, Scottish lobsters, vegetable risotto and dishes such as chicken breast with pistachio and herb stuffing. There’s also an appealing choice of puds ranging from banoffi pie to pannacotta with passion-fruit caramel. Howie’s has a workmanlike wine list, but you can also BYO (£4 corkage).
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