To my mind, new restaurants and bars launching in the chaos of an Edinburgh Festival August are either brave or foolhardy.
New places always have teething troubles of some sort, and to iron out kinks when having to accommodate feedback from such a broad range of tastes as the cosmopolitan Festival-going public is hugely challenging.
This late July and early August has seen a rash of new openings, with the George Street Bar & Grill just one of them. The old Melrose dining room of the Roxburghe Hotel, the re-invigorated premises are in the classic hotel restaurant style, with a menu to match.
Service is their initial strength, with things running very smoothly, full of easy charm and accurate efficiency.
Having been focussing on veggie street food, this month, I rewarded myself with a very beefy sit down dinner. I opened with French onion soup, followed by braised beef cheeks. I accompanied things with a lovely glass of malbec.
The soup arrived in a neat little lidded pot. It proved to be solidly good, without hitting the heights of the example onion soup I sampled at La Garrigue.
The main course was a notch better, with a huge chunk of beautifully tender beef accompanied with neatly prepared vegetables, and a richly sticky sauce.
I rounded things out with a fair espresso, then took care of the bill and was on my way.
So overall, the George Street Bar & Grill shows signs of promise. They have some good value lunch a pre-theatre options, which will lure people in to give it a try. Its problem is that it’s bounded by Hadrian’s and Galvin’s, and has the Bonham, nearby. These are all hotel restaurants that are serving grub to a considerably more impressive standard. If you find yourself at the Grill, you’ll be pleased enough, but not completely bowled-over, so I think they have a little work to do to sharpen things up.
Blythe scores the George Street Bar & Grill
3.5/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 14.5/20
I ate: French onion soup, beef cheeks
I drank: malbec, water, espresso
I wore: glazed Festival eyes
Total bill: £29.40