Chef Stuart Ralston will open Lyla, a new 28-cover seafood focused tasting menu restaurant opening on Royal Terrace, Edinburgh - the site of the late Paul Kitching's 21212 restaurant.
Lyla will be an ode to produce from the Scottish Isles, focusing on ingredients from the coastline and earth.
The 10-course tasting menu will be served in a Georgian dining room and the dishes will be an expression of Stuart's cooking style, focusing on surprising flavour combinations with low to no manipulation of ingredients.
The space itself will be friendly and unpretentious, and the service a celebration of classic hospitality. Lyla is Ralston’s fourth restaurant opening in Edinburgh; following Aizle, Noto and most recently Tipo.
The restaurant will take over the late Paul Kitching’s 21212 restaurant, with the bedrooms still operated by Paul’s wife, Katie O’Brien.
Of the new restaurant, Stuart said: “Paul has always been an inspiration to me. Taking over this space is bitter-sweet for obvious reasons.
"When Katie offered it to me, I just wanted to make sure that I would create a restaurant that I think he would be proud of.
"I have just turned 40 and my interpretation of the industry has altered and changed over the years. Each of my restaurants represents something I love about this intensely creative and exciting industry.
"Lyla will be unapologetically fine-dining, marrying classical elements of service and experience with dishes that I am really proud of. This restaurant will be a culmination of everything I have learned over the years and everything I love to cook and eat”.
Guests will walk up the stairs to the Georgian house and enter via a private entrance. They will be guided upstairs to the drawing room, walk past the dry-age fridges and towards the chef's block where the first snacks will be prepared.
Welcomed by the champagne trolley, guests will ease into their experience with snacks and refreshments before being taken back downstairs, past the open kitchen and towards their table for the evening. The experience will be interactive and relaxed, with dishes being finished tableside.
Stuart’s menu will be guided by what is available, and will feature dishes such as N25 caviar with wild bream, black radish and sea buckthorn as well as Isle of Skye langoustine, bonito emulsion and burgundy sorrel followed by Chawanmushi with razor clam, fermented white asparagus and laminated brioche with cultured butter and whipped macadamia.
The wine list is developed by award-winning sommelier Stuart Skea, and will be a collection of small-domain wines, celebrating new-age and old-world. There will be a non-alcoholic pairing using in-house tonics, ferments and kombuchas.
Inside the restaurant, the colour palette will be a combination of earthy tones like umber, limestone, sandstone and carbon and will make use of natural materials.
Born in the small town of Glenrothes in Fife, Stuart is an award-winning chef based in Edinburgh with three restaurants: Aizle, Noto and Tipo, all of which he independently owns.
Aizle was opened in 2014 and is recognised as one of Scotland’s best restaurants, featured in Estrella Damm’s Top 100 restaurants at the National Restaurant Awards two years in a row.
In 2021, Noto was awarded a Bib Gourmand at the Michelin Awards and Tipo - which opened in March 2023 - made its debut into the Michelin Guide just four months after opening.
In 2022, Stuart also won Chef of the Year at the Edinburgh restaurant Awards and Aizle was awarded Best Fine Dining restaurant.
Stuart moved to New York city when he was in his early twenties and worked alongside Gordon Ramsay.
It was during this time that Stuart decided to draw on what else NYC had to offer, and undertook stages with legendary chefs David Bouley, Marcus Samuelsson, Terrance Brennan, Daniel Humm, Paul Liebrandt and Jean-Georges Vongerichten. In early 2009 he started at one of New York’s most prestigious private members club, The Core Club.
He then moved to be Chef de Cuisine at the world famous Sandy Lane Resort in Barbados where he was responsible for their signature restaurant L’Acajou.
Stuart was one of the first chefs in the UK to implement a four-day-week back in 2018, which encouraged other chefs across the UK to do the same. He is a strong advocate for work life balance, he showed that the industry does not have to be defined by long hours.
Lyla will open on Wednesday - Saturday serving dinner at 6.30pm-8pm. It will open on 6 October and had space for 28 covers in one sitting.
The tasting menu is priced at £145 per person with the wine pairing £110 per person. Find out more about the restaurant via the website.