Food & Drink blogger Warren Campbell highlights some of the best new bars and restaurants in Edinburgh.

The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen

(21-25 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PB, tel: 0131 240 7177)

The Printing Press. Picture: TSPL

The Printing Press. Picture: TSPL

The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen opened its doors last month occupying the former Tempus site and marks the first Scottish endeavour from Des McDonald – owner of London’s Vintage Salt and Q Grill. The name is an ode to the literary and publishing greats who once resided on Edinburgh’s George Street.

“We set out with a clear vision to create seasonal dishes that are bursting with flavour and reflective of the local produce found on Scotland’s doorstep,” Des McDonald said.

With the helping hand of head chef Colin Flemming – a former protégé of Martin Wishart – the restaurant serves Scottish seasonal cuisine seven days a week. Though the menu is short and sweet it doesn’t disappoint. The venue’s setting is ‘Londonesque’ – spacious and chic – fitted with soft leather, dim lighting and luxurious velvets throughout. Opening from 7am until 1am, The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen caters to everyone from the early birds to the nighthawks.

Leith Chop House

(102 Constitution St, Edinburgh EH6 6AW, tel: 0131 629 1919)

Leith Chop House restaurant for scotsman mag 31st Oct

Leith Chop House. Picture: TSPL

Steak and cocktails are at the forefront of the recently opened Leith Chop House, which is already proving to be quite the hit. From the group behind Sygn and Monteiths, the steakhouse opened in September this year on Constitution Street. The menu showcases prime cuts of beef – fillet and sirloin – with large sharing cuts such as chateaubriand.

Focusing on the idea of ‘nature to plate’ – Murray Ainslie, Operations Manager said: “The idea is very much to cook the food simply but to cook it well and have great quality ingredients taking centre stage.”

The meat is butchered in-house under head chef Brian McConnachie’s guidance before hanging for up to 90 days in the restaurant’s dry-aging fridges – a main feature of the restaurant.
Beer enthusiasts can indulge in a specially brewed offering called ‘The Chop House Pale’ – brewed by Drygate. Bespoke cocktails are also on offer.

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Harry’s Bar & Grill

(7B Randolph Pl, Edinburgh EH3 7TH, tel: 0131 539 8100)

Harry's Bar & Grill/Picture: Scotsman

Harry’s Bar & Grill. Picture: Scotsman

A once loved landmark of the Edinburgh bar scene – Harry’s Bar & Grill has been revamped and given a whole new look. The site was acquired by The Shilling Group – the brains behind The Fountain and The Sligh House – and opened in late July this year. John Duncan, Area Manager of Shilling Group, said design inspiration was taken from ‘Manhattanesque’ bars like P.J. Clarke’s, featured in HBO show ‘Madmen’.

“The general consensus was to create a hip stripped back bar that showcases a fine balance between chic and rustic,” John Duncan said.

Regulars of the former Harry’s will notice a complete transformation as the L-shaped bar is no more and a new bar houses on the right focusing on crafts and draughts and bespoke cocktails. The food menu consists of a range of locally sourced meats and seafood prepared with European influences.

A notable feature is the kitchen’s new charcoal Josper grill – collectively referred to as ‘Uncle Josper’ by the staff. John commented: “Already, the new Josper grill has been a selling point of Harry’s. We all think it is one of the key attributes to giving our bar a relaxing vibe while serving finely grilled meats.”

Bar à Vin

(17 Queensferry St, Edinburgh EH2 4QW, tel: 0131 226 1890)

Winged Ox

Picture: Bar à Vin

Chef- Proprietor of award-winning French Restaurant L’escargot blanc Fred Berkmiller has launched Bar à Vin on Queensferry Street in Edinburgh’s west end this month. Serving up a variety of French and Scottish cheese, charcuterie and wines, Bar à Vin can be found in a former barber shop beneath L’escargot blanc.

The beer and food pairing trend has boomed throughout this year but wine and cheese pairing? Bar à Vin offers fellow foodies various wines paired with a range of cheese. Boasting over thirty-something reds and whites – all from France – there is also a kind selection of Champagne on offer.

For the food offering expect everything from green olives from Lucques to sardines from Brittany.

Earlier this month, Fred told the Scotsman Food & Drink: “As a Frenchman, it is a given that I love my cheese and wine, so it’s safe to say I’ve poured my heart and soul into this venture.

“Inspired by the celebrations of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, and as a huge advocate of Scotland’s prime, quality larder, it seemed the perfect time to bring the best of France and Scotland together in the form of L’escargot’s first wine bar.”

About The Author

Warren Campbell

Warren Campbell is a food and drink enthusiast who has his finger on the pulse when it comes to the Scottish licence trade. Having written for various publications and worked behind several bars, Warren’s passion for all things trade related is what drives him. He can be seen enjoying a Balvenie 12 Year Old Doublewood in his favourite haunts around Glasgow or frequenting between Glasgow and Edinburgh’s thriving restaurant scenes.

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