La Partenope Edinburgh Reviews
Italian restaurant in Edinburgh Oct 01, 2012
This restaurant bills itself as 'Cucina Napolitana' (Neapolitan Cooking) in a family run 'ristorante'. Parthenope (meaning "Maiden's Voice" in Greek) was one of the Sirens that tried to tempt Odysseus (Ulysses). As you may recall from Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus plugged his ears with wax and tied himself to the mast of his ship to resist the call of the Sirens. Well, Parthenope, thinking herself a failure to allure Odysseus, threw herself into the sea out of despair and her body washed up on shore near what is now the city of Naples. The figure of Parthenope is closely associated with Naples as a safe haven for anyone who has met with misfortune and in need of nurture and sustenance. Such is the legend in mythology and origin of the name of this restaurant.
There was one family dining here when we arrived, but we didn't see any other patrons come in during the time we were dining here. This was quite a surprise to me because the food is really excellent. I had some fish that was absolutely superb and almost felt I was in Italy. My companions enjoyed their pasta dishes too. I liked the decor in this place too - like something you might experience in Italy, and I enjoyed some of the artwork of various people from Italian cinema adorning the walls. La Partenope is indeed a little piece of Italy in Edinburgh. My only complaint was that the staff did not seem well informed on the dishes in the menu and the waiter never brought me the soup I ordered as an appetizer.
I really would have given this restaurant 5 stars for Italian authenticity in food and decor, but had to downgrade it one star due to the service. I'd have been more forgiving had the place been busy, but we were the only patrons here after the family there before us had left, so there is really no excuse not to be informed on the dishes and what is available on the menu or to forget something on an order. Nevertheless, for an genuine Italian experience in Edinburgh, I can Recommend La Partenope. Good prices, good food and I can praise the fish here - magnifico!
Part of the A Sense of Scotland (Sep. 21 - Oct. 2, 2012) travel blog
Part of the list Scotland: Places to Eat & Drink
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