The Compass Group have just opened their third Chop House in Edinburgh. The Bruntsfield restaurant joins the original Chop House in Leith and the second on Market Street.
Housed in a handsome corner unit, the new Chop House is on Bruntsfield Place in the former TriBeCa site.
The premises have had a complete refurb which makes clever use of the space.
On the ground floor, there are booth seats as well as seating spaces around the marble-topped horseshoe bar.
Chop House: charcoal-fired Josper
Downstairs is basement dining room and the open kitchen, complete with charcoal-burning Josper grill.
Skylights to the ground floor allow natural light in and help sustain the climbing ivy which gives the basement space a more natural feel.
The ground floor has large windows looking out onto Bruntsfield Links. It is light enough to make you appreciate the slowly lengthening evenings but also dark enough to be pleasingly flattering.
Handy for those of us for whom the passing years could have been kinder.
Happily, on a recent visit, your correspondent was able to console himself with an excellent gin sour cocktail called In Bloom.
A mix of Tanqueray, Campari, orgeat, lemon juice, egg white and Chartreuse Yellow, it is one of those pretty cocktails that slips down very easily. And then kicks like a mule.
We were there for a preview night and, to start, enjoyed briny-fresh Loch Fyne oysters and chunky battered prawns with a chilli dipping sauce.
While the Chop House restaurants will happily serve chicken and seafood dishes – plus a Cajun cauliflower steak – the star of the show is the beef.
Dry-aged on the premises and butchered in-house, they source most of it from Shaws in the Borders with supplementary supplies from Aberdeenshire Highland Beef and Hannan Meats in Ireland.
All their beef is dry-aged for a minimum of 35 days and up to a maximum of 90 days. It is then cooked over charcoal at around 450 degrees centigrade.
This high temperature means the chefs can get a gorgeous smoky char on the exterior of the meat while the interior remains meltingly tender.
Sharing cuts of beef
Chop House specialises in sharing cuts of meat such as the Chateaubriand, Porterhouse and bone-in rib.
Of course, they also serve individual portions of rib-eye, fillet, sirloin and rump.
Diners are welcome to eat it as it comes or with a choice of sauces like Béarnaise, peppercorn or chimichurri.
If you like your beef with added savoury unctuousness, we can heartily recommend the bone marrow gravy.
We wish the new Chop House every success.