First opened in 1990 and named after a mountain in the North West Highlands, Stac Polly on Dublin Street is a time-served veteran of the Edinburgh restaurant scene. A labyrinth of stone cellars in the New Town, it flew the flag for Scottish ingredients and cooking long before many others had the same idea.
As it approaches its quarter of a century innings, its ground floor level has undergone a major refurbishment to create a new Scottish-style brasserie, gin and wine bar. While it remains open for drinks and snackettas through out the day, the food focus of the new brasserie is lunch and, apart from the sharing platters, all the dishes are under a tenner. The original restaurant remains in the basement.
The lunch menu focuses on seasonal, Scottish ingredients from local suppliers and the chef’s allotment. Typical dishes include roasted wild pigeon breast with Stornoway black pudding, beetroot glaze and carrot slaw; poached mussels, white wine, cream, parsley and lemon and a sharing plate of vodka-cured sea trout, beetroot and dill cured salmon, mackerel mousse, smoked salmon with salad leaves and tartare dressing.
Post-lunch a menu of smaller dishes and snacks is available from mid-afternoon and throughout the evening.
A selection of Scottish and London gins are served simply to allow their unique botanical flavours to take centre stage. Caorunn, the wonderful Edinburgh Gin, The Botanist, Hendricks and Blackwoods represent the Scottish gins while the London spirits are represented by Tanqueray Ten, Sipsmith, and Martin Miller. Two signature cocktails have been developed – an Edinburgh Raspberry Gin Fizz served with seasonal home-made syrups, and a classic Gin Martini made with Noilly Prat and a lime twist. Beer options include a small selection from Scotland and continental Europe.
Sister restaurant Stac Polly, on St Mary Street, continues to operate.