Season Quayside - a new brasserie at The Shore
Updated: Aug 18, 2021
Mrs Bite and I have been called to foodie duty. The occasion is the launch of a new brasserie in Leith, Season Quayside.
Formerly the site of Café Tartine at Commercial Street, the ample, airy space has been made over. Olive green walls and lovely wooden furniture are welcoming, stylish and comfortable.
A long bar is a stage for cocktails by Alessandro. He builds us a Quayside Negroni where Lillet Blanc and rosemary mix with Edinburgh Seaside Gin and Campari. It is punchy and well balanced. Alessandro also makes his own lemongrass hard soda. The cocktail menu invites further investigation. I suggest a late afternoon tasting and people-watching session in the lounge area, which overlooks Victoria Quay.
The food menu is eclectic, so gourmet pizzas and burgers sit alongside steaks, scallops and venison. The menu has too wide a choice for me, and I find it slightly confusing. Produce is top-notch, though. Fish comes from George Campbell, meat from James Ewart and scallops from North Uist. A steak pie features local beer from the nearby start-up brewery Moonwake. A full vegan/vegetarian menu is available.
Mrs Bite has scallops that are plump and caramelized. A bed of pea puree is sufficient to complement them. Extra ingredients on the plate are not needed and detract from the main act. My prawn tacos are tasty thanks to fried prawns, sweet pineapple and honey and spicy freshly chopped chilli. Mrs Bite liked them, but they were too sweet for me.
The haunch of Kingussie venison won Mrs Bite’s heart. A sticky red jus is perfect ditto grilled tomato, watercress and truffle chips. Each element is superb, but perhaps potatoes are a better side to deer. If you choose steak, you are in for a real treat with these extras, though. My braised steak and mushroom pie is earthy and warm, just right for a rainy day.
Dark Belgian chocolate tart, sea salt and rosemary, is spot-on, rich, and indulgent with Devon cream. The cream is standout and screams to be paired with the fine-sounding selection of scones served during the day. Other options for morning or brunch include salted caramel and hazelnut eclairs and a classic Victoria sponge. This all hints at a good pastry section. We will see.
Season Quayside has all the warmth of a family business. Staff are very passionate, and Ruggiero is the perfect front-of-house host. We feel the organization can improve. There were a few missteps and discordant notes, but we have every faith that Season Quayside will iron out these wrinkles and become a hot-spot in Leith. The menu suits different palates and dining choices, whether you want to go for a burger with friends or a romantic dinner with your partner.
I am sure Mrs Bite and I will be back for a Negroni and pizza.