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Piaf night at Le Bistro Beaumartin

 

Rather like Edith Piaf, the 5pm Dining blog ne regrette rien. Except perhaps that large wedge of Camembert we rather unwisely demolished just before bedtime last night.

We’re certain that you won’t regret anything if you sashay along to Le Bistro Beaumartin on Saturday 26th April.

On that evening, the marvelous Christine Bovill (that’s her in the YouTubeclip) will be performing her acclaimed Piaf show at the Hope Street restaurant.

Guests will enjoy a welcome drink, three course a la carte dinner and two forty minute performances from La Bovill.

Troubled chanteuse

Packed with memorable songs made famous by the troubled chanteuse, Bovill’s Piaf show has been a huge hit at the Edinburgh Fringe for the last three years.

The Scotsman has given the show five stars while the Sunday Times noted that the show was ‘something that will stay with you for the rest of your life’.

Authentic Gallic cooking

Le Bistro Beaumartin has also had its fair share of plaudits.

The List’s Eating and Drinking Guide reckoned that ‘Le Bistro Beaumartin is an independent with real strength of personality that prides itself on marrying the spoils of Scotland’s natural larder to authentic Gallic cooking techniques’.

5pm customers have given the restaurant a healthy rating of 4.1/5.

The evening starts at 6.30pm and tickets for dinner and the show cost £50 a head. You can book here.



Family friendly restaurants in Glasgow

This week on 5pm Dining we've been looking at family friendly restaurants. Eating out with children can be a challenge and it can often be tricky to find restaurants which easily accommodate children as well as provide a quality dining experience for mum and dad.

Real mums and dads

We decided the best way to recommend family friendly restaurants was to ask YOU. Sure, a restaurant might provide a children's menu, but it's the real mums and dads who know the details which matter - space for a buggy, changing facilities, accommodating staff. With that in mind, we asked this question on our Facebook page:

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Answers:

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Nicola McFadyen: Cafe Andaluz are great with my 2 year old.

Kerry-Ann Begbie: Cafe Andaluz all the way!

CAFE ANDALUZ

£13.95 For 3 Tapas + Dessert from Cafe Andaluz City Centre and West End.

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Mhari Riddell: Soho Miller Street town centre is brill.

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£14.50 For 2 Courses + Drink from Soho on Miller Street

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Joanne Buchan: Sapporo Tepanyaki in Glasgow. Food is fantastic, service is fab and u get a wee bit of entertainment.

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£16.95 for 3 Courses from Sapporo Teppanyaki

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Lauren Murphy: The Byre East Kilbride are very family friendly! Lots of things for little ones they can make their own pizzas, there a park in it and also bouncy castle and face painting in the nice weather.

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£13.99 For 2 Courses from Bothy at the Byre, East Kilbride.

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John Bones Koolba Indian Restaurant is great for families, very friendly and remember curries are not always hot so kids will love them.

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£10.95 For 2 Courses from Koolba.

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For more restaurant offers in Glasgow and Edinburgh take a look at our 5pm Dining page.



Edinburgh’s changing restaurant scene

Rascals' Messy Burger is not misnamed.

Rascals' Messy Burger is not misnamed.

The 5pm Dining blog has recently been pondering why the Glasgow burger boom hasn’t seemed to travel across the M8.

Of course, there are loads of places in the capital selling burgers but there hasn’t been the explosion of burger bars and BBQ joints seen in the West over the last eighteen months or so.

Well, that’s changing. On the South Bridge, Rascals, formerly Aspen, has been slinging badboy burgers, double burgers, veggie burgers, pulled pork burgers and pretty much every other kind of burger since late last year.

It’s a new branch which has developed out from the original in St Andrews.

The Crafters Barn

A ten minute walk away, is The Crafters Barn on North Bank Street.

Back in December, we blogged about this place when it was called The Scottish Burger Bistro.

As The Crafters Barn, the emphasis seems to have moved away from burgers to a globe-trotting menu which takes in steaks cooked on hot lava stones, pizza, mussels and a selection of small plates which range from pan-fried octopus to a beef tongue stir-fry.

Belgian and Scottish craft beers will help it slip down.

Uncle Zeb is cooking tonight

Meanwhile, in the western suburbs of Edinburgh, Uncle Zeb’s American Diner is serving sit-in guests as well as delivering southern-flavoured goodies to American food fans in nearby postcodes.

Operating from the Clermiston Inn on Rannoch Road, Uncle Zeb seems to like cooking up steaks, burgers, pizza, wings and wraps.

Leith Walk goes Spanish

Serrano Manchego is importing barrels of wine from Cordoba.

Serrano Manchego is importing barrels of wine from Cordoba.

Finally, last November, we blogged about Serrano Manchego, a new Spanish pinchitos bar which was taking shape in the old Dalmeny Bar on Leith Walk.

According to our chums at STV’s Edinburgh city app, the new venture is pencilled in to open come May.

The STV article is here. It looks as though they are making a fair old stab at creating a genuine Spanish bar rather than an ersatz UK version.



Vegan night at Bread Street Brasserie

The eye-catching interior at the Bread Street Brasserie.

The eye-catching interior at the Bread Street Brasserie.

Just a quickie to point out that the Bread Street Brasserie is holding one of its extremely popular vegan nights on Thursday 10th April.

A tremendous three course meal is yours for £16.

Vegans are not always well catered for by most restaurants but the Brasserie in the recently relaunched DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre pulls out all the stops for their vegan nights.

You can read all about the hotel’s swish new looks in an earlier blog wot we wrote here.



Savour the flavours of Edinburgh

Savour

Looking forward to June, there is an interesting event taking place at the ever lively Summerhall on Sunday 15th.

Billed as Savour, United Flavours of Edinburgh, some of the capital’s top artisan producers, suppliers, chefs and wine merchants will be providing an afternoon of food-related exploration.

Virtual menu, real eats

The Savour team will be taking over Summerhall, the former Dick Vet School, and creating ‘a virtual menu where spaces will be used imaginatively to create a fun journey around a wealth of produce’.

So, among other events, the former Histology Lab will be transformed by Queen Margaret University’s Gastronomy Department  into a Beer Lab which promises to take visitors on a mini journey through beer’s production, taste, styles and social history.

Drinks matching

In the Dissection Room, a variety of food producers, chefs and restaurants will be cooking up a delicious range of goodies to taste or buy. These will be paired with local wine and beer merchants.

Pudding Hall

The Pudding Hall will feature a long table with a pudding banquet. The space is designed so you can enjoy a variety of sweets things from several local pudding purveyors and then sit down to enjoy them.

In The Cheese Lounge and Larder – the former Bone Room of the Veterinary College - Edinburgh Larder will be selling a variety of chutneys, pickles, cordials and other goodies. Match these with a platter of cheeses and retire to the lounge area to enjoy!

There is more to be announced and you can keep track of developments here. Normal price tickets £15 but early birds booking before April 15th can snaffle tix at £10 a pop. Kids under 12 go free with a paying adult.

Tix from here.



More new Glasgow restaurants

TopoNeonHoldingPage

Are Mexican restaurants due to be the next big thing in Glasgow?

You could argue that with the spread of the Pinto restaurants; new openings such as Juan Chihuahua and, perhaps, the Latin American Las Iguanas, that that the Mexican boom has already started.

What makes it even more likely to happen is when one of the partners at the Di Maggio's group gets involved in a new Mexican restaurant project in the city centre.

Topolobamba

If anyone has their finger on the pulse of Glasgow's eating out scene, it's the team at Di Maggio's so if one of their directors is linked to the project, then it seems a fair bet that Glasgow is indeed about to experience a Mexican boom.

Called Topolobamba, the new venture is on St Vincent Street. The plan is to have it opened in time for the Commonwealth Games.

NYC American Grill

Sticking with food from the other side of the Atlantic, we note that the NY American Grill is taking shape in Princes Square.

It is run by the same team as Barca which is also in the Buchanan Street centre.

Steaks, burgers and boozy shakes are among the goodies on offer when the venue opens in early May.

Ox & Finch

Looking a little further in to the future (?), Ox & Finch restaurant is shaping up fast on Sauchiehall Street. It's the new, permanent project from the people at street food specialists Scoop.

Ox and Finch is coming together on Sauchiehall Street.

Ox and Finch is coming together on Sauchiehall Street.



New Glasgow restaurants

The Grand Hall at Hutchesons.

The Grand Hall at Hutchesons is undergoing restoration.

 

As the Commonwealth Games begin to loom large on the horizon, Glasgow’s restaurateurs have gone into overdrive opening new restaurants.

The 5pm Dining blog will be taking a closer look at a few of them today and tomorrow with a round-up of developments in Edinburgh on Thursday.

We’ve learned of many of the restaurants from the ever lively, new restaurants thread on Yelp. Their eagle-eyed contributors usually know about new Glasgow restaurants long before the doors open.

We’ve already blogged about Hutchesons in our Chewin' theFat chat with James Rusk, the brains behind both the Butchershop Bar & Grill plus the exciting new development of the old Hutchesons Hospital.

You can pick up more details from our friends at the STV city app and there was also a story in The Herald last week.

Scotland’s first sake brewery

We also see that Arran Brewery is to open Scotland’s first sake brewery in Dreghorn by Kilmarnock.

Managing Director Gerald Michaluk said ‘It may not at first appear there is a connection between Dreghorn, near Kilmarnock, and Japan but there is. In Japan you will find a small piece of Scotland in the form of a church which once graced Dreghorn but which was dismantled and rebuild in Tokyo.

‘As well as the sake brewery, which will almost exclusively export its sake to Japan, there will be our research and development centre and a brewing and distilling training school; subject of course to licensing. We have been making sake on a very small, almost domestic, scale and are now ready to build a sizable facility’.

New tapas bar

Back in Glasgow, La Boca is a very authentic new tapas bar on Hope Street.

Spanish tapas made from Spanish ingredients and cooked by Spanish chefs is the ethos here.

We like the look of their take on the sarnie or montadito packed with pork loin and Manchego cheese.

La Boca's montadito.

La Boca's montadito.

Vegetarian and vegan Indian

Over at the bottom corner of Byres Road, Usha’s Vegetarian is taking shape.

Vegetarian and vegan Indian dishes are promised. It’s being launched by the team behind the Tribeca diners – Usha is the mother-in-law of Tribeca’s owner. More info here.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more details on a new Mexican restaurant opening on St Vincent Street.



Chewin’ the Fat with James Rusk

James Rusk: loves great steak, less keen on raw celery.

James Rusk: loves great steak, less keen on raw celery.

James Rusk and his wife Louise opened The Butchershop Bar and Grill opposite Kelvingrove Art Gallery four years ago. Specialising in aged-on-the-bone steaks, not to mention innovative cocktails, sparkling oysters and chunky Ayrshire chops, the restaurant’s buzzy ambience has built a loyal clientele.

James’ next project is Hutchesons which is billed as ‘a new dining experience in a grand European setting’. Scheduled to open towards the end of May/beginning of June, the restaurant and bar complex will give a new lease of life to the former Hutcheson’s Hall Hospital on Ingram Street.

Unstoppably enthusiastic, James has big ambitions for Hutchesons and can’t wait for its ‘rebirth as one of Glasgow’s iconic architectural landmarks’.

The 5pm Dining blog chatted to James about his imminent city centre venture as well as Glasgow’s changing restaurant scene and his aversion to raw celery.

How long has Hutchesons been in the pipeline?

JR: We’ve been working on it for over two years. All the planning permissions have been granted; the licence has been granted and, towards the end of last year, construction started on its rebirth as one of Glasgow’s iconic architectural landmarks. We are looking to be open this spring.

What will it be like?

JR: It will be a real steakhouse and seafood restaurant in a grand European setting. We will be open in the morning for coffee and croissants with newspapers and WiFi. Then it transitions into light lunches in the Boardroom bar downstairs. We will do afternoon teas and then upstairs, in the Grand Hall, we will have Hutchesons Grill with great steaks and whole fish grilled on the bone.

The mighty tomahawk steak is a favourite at The Butchershop and Grill

The mighty tomahawk steak is a favourite at The Butchershop and Grill

It’s a big building. Does it feel like an ambitious project?

JR: It’s a £1.3 million fit out. We want to provide a quality product with quality service in a quality environment. It’s so cool and although it has a grand scale, it has an intimate feel. We have built this rock ‘n’ roll, bad boy steakhouse in the West End. Hutchesons is our city centre idea. We’re hoping that it’s the birth of an icon. What’s great about this venture is that it will give people a chance to come in, hang out and enjoy the building. It’s what the customer wants it to be. Customer comfort is key.

Hutchesons is a Glasgow city centre landmark.

Hutchesons is a Glasgow city centre landmark.

How did you get into the restaurant business?

JR: I was a student at university in Newcastle and worked as a waiter. I tried to be a rock star but the only job anyone paid me to do was being a waiter, doing the door, working the bar and so on.

You also did a stint at Keith McNally’s Balthazar in New York. What did you learn there?

JR: It’s all about the customer and the environment the customer is dining in. The theatrical aspect of it is important but the customer is king. It’s everything from how the menu feels; to what the salt and pepper shakers look like and how you are presented with the bill. Every detail matters and it has to be consistent - it has to be that way every single day. If you provide a consistent experience then the customer knows they can trust us and trust what we do. Customers have to trust you as a brand.

What I loved about working with the McNally school was that I loved design and running restaurants means being involved in design. I love people and running restaurants means I get to be with people. I like being in charge and making things happen and a restaurant is a military operation. I like structure. I’m process-led but also have an artistic side. Running a restaurants allows you to do all this. You get to create these environments.

The Butchershop and Grill features snug booths.

The Butchershop and Grill features snug booths.

If you could change one thing about Glasgow’s restaurant scene, what would it be?

JR: What we are improving at is the connectivity between businesses. The message that we all send to visitors to the city is becoming stronger. Come the summer, we will have the Commonwealth Games on our doorstep. Brand Glasgow will be on display in front of the world and I want to make sure that we are looking good.

I don’t want any of these visitors leaving our city and saying, ‘Well, it was OK’. All our team are getting more Glasgow welcome training. If a customers asks them where X is then they can show them and suggest alternatives and bring it to life.

Organisations like Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and VisitScotland are doing a tremendous amount of work. This year, we’ve got the Commonwealth Games, MTV, The Big Weekend, Homecoming and Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. The level of advertising that Glasgow is getting around the world is incredible and it’s up to us to portray our city as an incredible destination. We’re getting better at that and we could always do more.

People are out there busting their asses to make this an awesome city. I keep on asking myself and my team what can we do to play our part?

OK. Enough proper questions. Anyone in the world can cook you a meal. Who will it be?

JR:  Jimmy Page.

What’s the most exotic thing you have ever eaten?

JR: A live lobster which was gutted in front of me. The body was scooped out and served as sushi. The other half was used as decoration. Not one of my proudest moments. There was sake involved.

Is there anything you couldn’t eat?

JR: Raw celery. I don’t know why. I can pretty much eat anything but celery... no.

You’re cooking a special meal at home. What is for dinner?

JR: A big Sunday feed. My wife is Irish and I have been put through the Irish training to become Master of the Potato. As long as there are at least five or six different types of potato with different shapes and textures then I have a happy wife and family.

The Signature steak at Butchershop Bar and Grill

The Signature steak at Butchershop Bar and Grill



Taste O’Tartan Vending Machines – New Purple Landmarks Across Glasgow

Look out for a new purple landmark in Glasgow this summer - 5pm Taste O’ Tartan machines selling whisky, haggis and “See You Jimmy” hats.

The machines will be placed in various location in Glasgow city centre during the Commonwealth Games.

We want visitors to have easy access to Scotland’s national food and drink - as well as the famous Glasgow sense of humour.

vendingmachine

Artist impression of what the planned vending machines will look like.

Scottish culture

Our CEO Ronnie Somerville said: ““Glasgow has a unique culture and sense of humour which I want to visitors to experience this summer.

“With haggis being our national dish and whisky or national drink, these machines are a cheap and convenient way for tourists to learn about Scottish culture.”

Chairman Charles Shaw added: “The atmosphere in Glasgow during the Commonwealth games is sure to be electric and I envisage a sea of ‘See You Jimmy’ hats on Buchanan Street!”

“We believe the Taste O’ Tartan machines are the perfect way to promote Scottish food and drink, as well as the famous Glasgow banter.”

Purple machines

The Taste O’ Tartan machines will be the same purple colour as our website and branded with the 5pm logo.

The brands of whisky and haggis available in the machines have yet to be confirmed but a number of suppliers have expressed interest.



anCnoc goes to the dark side

anCnoc Flaughter: putting the peat in your dram.

anCnoc Flaughter: putting the peat in your dram.

It’s been a long time since the 5pm Dining blog caught a whiff of smoke in a nightclub.

To be honest, it’s been a long time since we’ve been in a nightclub.

However, last week, in Glasgow’s lovely Arches, we found ourselves enjoying a snoot of peat smoke when we attended the launch of anCnoc’s new collection of limited edition, peated whiskies.

Established in 1894, Knockdhu Distillery is best known for anCnoc Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, a drink which is at the lighter end of the whisky spectrum.

Last week, the distillers announced their intention to extend their brand by launching three new expressions: Rutter, Flaughter and Tushkar – all named after traditional peat-cutting tools.

Whisky lovers ponder the new anCnoc collection.

Whisky lovers ponder the new anCnoc collection.

Peated whisky for modern drinkers

Rutter and Flaughter are being released into the UK and global markets while Tushkar is destined exclusively for exclusively for Sweden where anCnoc have a fervent following.

Aiming to unravel the mysteries of peated whisky for modern drinkers, this new collection features anCnoc’s classic light, easy-drinking style but with a dark and smoky twist.

In some ways, the three new whiskies hark back to the past. Yonks ago, in the 19th century, the very first whiskies crafted at Knockdhu had a peaty edge, thanks to the distillery’s location in the heart of some of Scotland’s most fertile peat land.

Tasting notes

Here are the tasting notes from the distillery:

Rutter (11.0 phenol parts per million): sparkling gold in appearance, initially smoky on the nose giving way to spices, pineapples, pear drops and vanilla. A full-bodied peaty richness to taste but with undertones of set honey, vanilla, toffee and leather, punctuated by green apples, giving way to a smoky peaty finish.

Flaughter (14.8ppm): pale gold in appearance a warm smokiness with spice, ash and surprising fruit on the nose. Distinctly smoky to taste with a fruity long-lasting finish.

Tushkar (15.0 ppm): polished gold in appearance with a rich sweet honey and vanilla nose wrapped in a veil of warm peat smoke, pierced by overtones of fresh green apples, orange peel and cut spring flowers. Rich, full-bodied wood smoke to taste, opening up to exotic spices, runny honey, toffee sweetness and a hint of freshly squeezed lemons.

A forest of edible peat bogs.

A forest of edible peat bogs.

Edible peat bog

The launch was catered by Jelly & Gin, a pioneering food outfit that the blog has often mentioned. To complement the peaty flavour of the whiskies, Jelly & Gin served up jars of edible peat bog – rather more delicious than they sound - and smoke-scented canapés.

The 5pm Dining blog will cover Homecoming’s Whisky Month in more detail shortly. Until then, we’ll have a wee plug for Create:Eat:Whisky.

The brainchild of Jelly & Gin, it’s a multi-sensory whisky experience taking place in a former milk factory in Leith.

Still think that whisky is for old buffers falling asleep in wing-backed chairs? This is one event that will shake and stir your prejudices.

Get a taste for it at Jelly & Gin’s blog. Tix from here.



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