Polentoni, Easter Road

I have a new favourite brunch place guys, and the best part about it is I can roll out of bed and there it is! I have been putting off writing about this place because it's pretty small and the last thing I need is all of you heading there and taking the last table. But I just couldn't keep it to myself any longer, Polentoni on Easter Road is an absolute must-visit for brunch.

Polentoni is this little Italian cafe near the top of Easter Road (coincidentally not far from where I live... don't try stalking me guys) that was refurbished not too long ago. I was walking to work one day when I first noticed it and while I hadn't seen a menu, the design of the cafe got me very excited. I could almost feel the potential brunch goodness radiating off it. I finally tried it for the first time a few months ago and I've been back plenty since.

Now I'm a big fan of your basic brunch menu items, I'm talking eggs benedicts, waffles, pancakes, etc... But let's be honest, you can find these pretty much everywhere you go and they're hard to get wrong. Polentoni's breakfast menu is completely different, no pancakes in sight. Albeit the menu itself is small, but this place is definitely quality over quantity. Every time I've been I've had something different and loved it.

Polenta is a bit of a theme in this cafe. Polenta is boiled cornmeal that let's be honest, doesn't sound particularly appetising. But the great thing about Polenta is when it is cooled, it will solidify and can then be baked, fried or grilled. I'm sure you'll have seen Polenta fries on a few other menus (Polentoni do serve them as a side) as they tend to be a 'healthier' alternative to normal chips.

Duck special, polenta chips and polenta & verdure
You'll find more than just polenta chips on the menu though. On their brunch menu for instance is the 'Polenta & Verdure' and 'Polenta Alla Trentina' which both use a fried polenta slice, that looks almost like a potato scone, as a base to the dish. 'Polenta & Verdure' is then topped with roast asparagus, cherry tomatoes, spinach, and an optional parma ham and poached egg. This is a delicious, less guilty feeling brunch dish. I'm keen to try out the 'Polenta Alla Trentina' as it's topped with smoked mozzarella, roast mushroom and poached eggs.

Uova al tartufo
One of my favourite dishes on the Breakfast menu (served daily between 9am-4pm) has to be the 'Uova Al Tartufo'. Polentoni offers a choice of two baked eggs dishes, and if you've been following my Instagram for a while, you'll know I live for baked eggs. This one is eggs baked with mushrooms, spinach, fontina cheese and truffle oil. It comes with a big slice of crusty bread and is so delicious. Mushrooms, truffle and cheese are an unbeatable combination. For those mushroom haters (you are the worst... just kidding... not really...) they do an 'Uova Al Forno' which is baked eggs with a cherry tomato salsa and parmesan.

Alongside the Breakfast menu is the Lunch menu which is served daily from 11am-4pm. I haven't yet tried anything off here but I'm always tempted (I just can't resist brunch). There are some classic Italian dishes such as 'Tagliatelle' egg pasta with fennel sausage, red wine and rosemary ragu, as well as 'Gnocchi' with porcini mushrooms, parmesan and truffle oil. There are also more polenta themed dishes such as 'Porchetta' pork belly with polenta chips and kale as well as 'Pollo' chicken with crispy parma ham, olive and cherry tomato and fried polenta. I'm pretty keen to try out the Lunch menu, it all sounds so delicious.

Cappuccino, dessert special pistachio tiramisu and a nocchio
Polentoni also serves up daily specials, last time we were there my mum had a duck dish with parsnip crisps that was delicious (yeah I stole some, only go for brunch/lunch with people who will let you try their food) and we shared the dessert special of 'Tiramisu' with pistachio, mascarpone cream with an almond and hazelnut croccante (this was probably the best tiramisu I've ever had). They also have sandwiches and these 'calzones' that look like pizzas with an egg on top ready made to take away or eat in at the counter (in case it's ever too busy to get a seat, I've always been lucky on that front). So despite their seemingly small looking menu, there's actually a lot of variety in what you can get to eat.

Overall, I couldn't recommend Polentoni enough. The food is delicious and a nice change from the ordinary brunches you find around Edinburgh. I'm not at all biased that it's now my local cafe, it really is just delicious, you need to try it out. They're even starting to convert me to coffee (which we all know I'm not a fan of) with their 'Nochio' a hazelnut hot chocolate with espresso shot (I was shocked at how much I loved this, if I'm ever desperate for a caffeine shot I know where to go). The one downside to Polentoni is that the cafe is currently closed on Sundays, which is a real shame. But I walk past it daily guys, so I'll keep you posted if that ever changes. Make sure you save me a seat though!

Their website is currently under construction, but you can check it out here.   

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