Fiona Duff: New food guide should keep my finger on pulse

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You know that expression about having one’s finger on the pulse? That used to be me, that did.

If there was a restaurant or bar opening up in Edinburgh, my friends and I would be there looking around, reading the menus and knocking back the free wine. These days I don’t think my digit could be further away from the throb of my heart. For example, I’m a fan of Mark Greenaway’s lovely eaterie on Queen Street, yet it was about six weeks after he opened a brasserie in Stockbridge, pictured, that I finally found out. I was having lunch with a friend earlier this week [and the service we received is another column, let me tell you!] and she talked about a new place opening up near the Pleasance. I, for a change, had no comment to make as the whole thing was a mystery to me. I’d be completely out of touch if it wasn’t for the foodie news in the Weekender section of the Evening News on Saturday.

But the launch of The List Eating & Drinking Guide next week offers a golden opportunity to get ahead of the game. Last year Newcomer Of the Year was a place called The Vintage in Leith. It was so new that the paint had hardly dried on the newly decorated lavatories and it was news indeed to most of those present.

The following week I suggested having lunch there with a friend who lives not too far away. And boy was she impressed. Not only do she and her husband like to think of themselves as foodies, and the grub offered scored on that level, but they also like to think that they know what’s going on in the Edinburgh food world. And she hadn’t heard of The Vintage. Oh, how proud I was, although I pretended to be all nonchalant and said I had overheard someone mentioning it whilst at some super exclusive event I had attended.

So Tuesday night will see me back at the Scottish Restaurant at the National Gallery for the launch of the 2014 Guide, guzzling some wine and keeping my ears pinned back so I can, for a week or two, pretend that I am ahead of the pack.