The Tower (Edinburgh; tel. 0131/225-3003)
The town's hot dining ticket lies on the top floor of the Museum of Scotland, an unlikely venue for one of Edinburgh's best restaurants. Featuring fresh seafood and an innovative modern British cuisine, The Tower serves some of the city's tastiest fare, made with the freshest ingredients.
Martin Wishart (Edinburgh; tel. 0131/553-3557)
Many food critics hail this dining room as the best restaurant in Scotland. If it's not that, it ranks among the top five. Out in Leith, Greater Edinburgh's port-bordering town, it serves a modern French cuisine -- dishes composed with quality products and filled with flavor.
Ostlers Close (Cupar, near St. Andrews; tel. 01334/655-574)
Chef Jimmy Graham is one of the finest in the St. Andrews area, and he's known to pick his own wild mushrooms. Golfers with discriminating palates flock to this modestly appointed place, which makes the best use of fish and seafood from the Fife Coast, as well as ducks from a local free-range supplier. Everything is delectable.
The Cross (Kingussie; tel. 01540/661-166; www.thecross.co.uk)
Housed in a cleverly converted 19th-century tweed mill, The Cross is a lot more chic than you'd imagine. The menu items are a celebration of Scottish ingredients, prepared with modern international palates in mind. An example is the west coast seafood salad with ultrafresh monkfish, scallops, prawns, and asparagus.
Inverlochy Castle (near Fort William; tel. 01397/702-177; www.inverlochycastlehotel.com)
Cherubs cavort across frescoed ceilings, and chandeliers drip with Venetian crystal in a dining room created in the 1870s for a mogul. A Relais & Châteaux member, Inverlochy's cuisine focuses on flavorful and natural interpretations of Scottish delicacies.
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