From those clever people behind Bruntsfield’s Three Birds comes The Apiary, new to Newington Road. Complete with artwork from local enigma Frances Bentley, they’ve made quite an impressive start to their tenure in the premises that used to house Cafe Metropole, a spot where I once inexpertly played chess.
The interior is much changed, with warm wood and welcoming foliage to the fore. The background music sets the mood, with classics playing just a note louder than you’d expect. It added very nicely to the air of confident stylishness.
The room is really smartly set up. It lends itself to relaxed and convivial service, which is what you get, throughout.
Although their menu contained lots of tempting dishes, I was hooked by the specials board, starting with curried parsnip and chorizo soup, then following with venison stew.
The soup proved to be outstandingly good, so is 2014’s first Soupquest exceptional. The lightly curried parsnip packed in a huge amount of flavour and the chorizo topping brought excellent punchy sweetness. It was an absolute delight.
The stew, served with with honey polenta dumplings, was a very good dish, too. Perfect for a wintry night, the meat was deliciously tender. It matched very well with their excellent malbec.
I swithered over dessert, and even contemplated ice cream at the mention of a blue cheese variety, but I was plenty full enough, so rounded things out with just a little espresso.
So overall, The Apiary was hugely impressive. The assurance with which Three Birds has established itself has transferred across directly, allowing this place to hit the ground running. It feels like an integral part of the fabric of our richly-woven Edinburgh restaurant tapestry, already. I’d strongly recommend a visit.
Blythe scores the Apiary
4.5/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
4/5 for service
giving an overall 16.5/20
I ate: curried parsnip and chorizo soup; venison stew, with polenta dumplings
I drank: rioja bianco, malbec
I wore: black and blue
Total bill: £29.25