Walking in on a snowy March evening, The Vintage Leith was infinitely inviting with warm lighting, exposed brick walls and an open kitchen.
• The Vintage, 60 Henderson Street, Leith, 0131-563 5293
Selecting a half pint of Meisels Weise beer (£2.25) each from the special beer list to start, we were torn between all the foodie options. With tapas style board ranging from small to large as well as the usual starters and mains it was hard to decide. Settling for the best of both worlds, we opted for a stuffed red onion (£5.50) and breadcrumb pigs’ ears with saffron pear (£5.50) to start. We followed this up with a medium tapas sharing board and the red mullet with back fat chowder (£13) as our mains.
My red onion came stuffed with a garlicky ricotta cheese filling and was beautifully complemented by a sprinkling of rocket and balsamic glaze. The pigs’ ears were melt in the mouth tender. My beer connoisseur companion had a scooner (1/3 pint) of Vuur and Vlam (£5) and I had an Italian Sangiovese (£5.35 for 250ml glass) from a well thought out and detailed drinks list.
The medium tapas board allowed four choices from the extensive list. Having heard the smoked duck (£3.50) was unmissable we couldn’t leave that off ours and we were very pleased we hadn’t. We also chose a champagne and hazelnut salami (£3.50) which was good despite the lack of a strong flavour. Our third choice was salted cod (£3.75) which came in the form of a delicate and airy mousse. Divine. Finally we chose smoked tomatoes (£2.50) which were slightly less intriguing than they sound but tasty nonetheless. This all came with sourdough, a delicious chutney and oils.
The chowder came with a fillet of red mullet laid on top of chunks of potato and mixed seafood including squid and mussels. Thickened with pig back fat was creamy, thick and perfect for a snowy night.
To end I couldn’t resist the treacle sponge (£4.50) which was certainly big enough for two due to a slightly too big mould. The iced blood orange and dried cranberry parfait (£5) was a slice of the healthy tasting heaven.
Great for a quiet beer or a full blown supper The Vintage has all the makings of a local favourite and a destination bar for those further afield.