Tucked away on the corner of Henderson Street at the Shore, Leith, The Vintage offers a relaxed informal dining experience. Opening its doors early in 2013 as a craft beer bar and kitchen, I have now found myself here twice in a short period of time which says something in itself.
Walking through the door gives you a sense of excitement. A stylish open plan kitchen is situated at the far end, with large wooden tables and the dark wooden bar dominating the room. There is a naturally warm laid back feel. The blackboard on the wall highlights all the beers that are on offer with various keg and cask ales alongside a selection of bottles and an extensive wine list. The Vintage certainly offers a variety!
I was accompanied with 6 other adults and one child for Sunday lunch. We were seated at a large wooden table and shown the menus which the waitress enthusiastically described. Immediately I felt relaxed and at ease. The menu has various sections that you can opt for. These consist of a grazing menu, Sunday roast special, weekend brunch and a la carte menu all with various choices. The charcuterie section in the grazing menu is the meat section. Charcuterie is described as ‘the craft of salting, smoking and curing’ which they do themselves, in house.
The waitress had recommended we order various dishes of the grazing menu for starter to share, however, after a lot of consideration and discussion amongst the table we decided to order our own. For starter I chose two of the grazing dishes, Goats cheese and fennel seed brulee and from the charcuterie section hot smoked pigs cheeks. These were served with tomato and sherry chutney, sauce gribiche and bread. I was glad that we chose our own as I feel that these would be difficult to share between everyone as they are only small tapa size portions.
Presented on a wooden board the starter had a rustic feel. The Hot smoked pigs cheeks were full of flavour. Natural salty taste along with the bread and chutney was a marriage made in heaven. The Goats cheese brulee however had a slightly strange taste. The very sweet sugar topping overpowered the melted cheese and made the dish taste like more of a dessert than a starter. The fennel slightly balanced the flavours but was still not enough to cut through the sugar.
For my main course I opted for the Sunday roast special which was Roast Leg of Peelham farm Organic Mutton (on the bone) with Braised Leg Boudin, Celeriac Fondant, Braised chicory & Wild Watercress, served with a Mushroom Sauce. This was slightly more pricey than the other mains on the menu but after the waitress trying her hardest to sell the dish, explaining it as the “best roast you will ever have”, I felt I had to see what she was talking about! I was not let down. Melt in the mouth Lamb which was tender and juicy. The mushroom sauce was rich and creamy. The other accompaniments gave the dish a lighter edge. Overall an amazing Sunday roast.
A few of my fellow diners ordered the “Mac ‘n’ cheese” burger with pulled pork served with homemade chips. This was a monster of a burger. A round ball of macaroni cheese tightly packed in breadcrumbs topped with soft juicy pulled pork all on a burger bun. This was definitely a burger required to be eaten with a knife and fork! It got high praise all round.
The Vintage has cleverly managed to combine the bar and restaurant providing a relaxed informal area where you can enjoy a meal or just a drink and feel at ease. The waitress, at times, seemed a little pushy but she was extremely friendly and the other staff were all very helpful. On my second visit with friends I ordered 5 dishes from the grazing menu which were all exceptional especially the in house smoked duck and pulled pork. My only complaint that day was that they had ran out of Sunday roast!
Overall I will be returning to The Vintage as it is a great place to chill with friends and family for a drink or something to eat. The food was superb and the choice of beers is exceptional.
Food: Rustic and modern
Service: Attentive but slightly overbearing
Overall: 8 / 10