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  • Writer's pictureSharon Wilson

Somewhere by Nico launches in Edinburgh with Land of OZ theme.

Gin, Bergamot, Chamomile & Primitivo Wine

Six courses, six cocktails, six weeks. This is the genius of Nico Simeone whereby the entrepreneur patron always has a new story to tell through the medium of the restaurant experience.


So many chefs are unable to expand their offering, spreading themselves too thin doesn’t work but Simeone has unearthed a formula that allows him to expand across multiple city sites. This restaurant chain equation adds a Ford-like production line process to a flight of fancy. An army of staff assemble and cook courses to specific instructions planned around an immersive theatrical dining experience.


Somewhere by Nico is the latest venue in Edinburgh which has just opened on the site of the former Foundry 39 in the West End. It joins a lineup of 15 restaurants and one other 'Somewhere' which launched in Glasgow in January of this year. The inaugural theme is Land of Oz.


Like Alice in Wonderland, The 1939 film The Wizard of Oz is a story with components we all know. 


The restaurant could easily place style over substance so Liz and I appreciate that it doesn’t fall into this trap. 

Reception

Seated in a comfy booth surrounded by multicoloured giant paper flowers we are impressed with our first cocktail. ‘Welcome to Oz’ comprises JJ Whitley London Dry Gin, Bergamot, Chamomile & Primitivo Wine served in a red stiletto. There are vegan, vegetarian and non-alcoholic menus too so even a de-alcoholized 'red' floats on a pale lemon-coloured mocktail. Canapes and small plates are served on the side as this multisensory experience's main focus is mixology. Thus a trio of rich cheesy canapés are served in a Kansas house to the side.


This is our first step on the Yellow Brick Road that leads eventually to the Emerald City but on the journey, we sample cocktails such as a Witches Brew and Deadly Poppy, dry ice, smoke and cloches are involved; wink wink (or should I say "clickety click". Foodwise, the menu includes deliciously sloppy parsley and black confit garlic risotto, a sweetcorn fritter, a filo cannelloni and much more. Each course and cocktail provides a talking point, making it an ideal place for an ‘awks’ first date or a party of any number or type.


Somewhere by Nico Brand Director Morgan Pope said: 

"Each visit to Somewhere is fully immersive, and we’ve designed each world to embody experiences that transport people somewhere – to a point in their memories, dreams, past, or present. The cocktails are the natural focal point, carefully and creatively crafted to be a multisensory experience. The ‘Land of Oz’ experience should take people a step closer to the Emerald City with every course. You’ll journey through poppy fields, encounter familiar faces along the way, and follow in Dorothy’s footsteps in an unforgettable adventure of your own. As with all the worlds we create, it’s inclusive, so there’s a non-alcoholic version of the ‘Land of Oz’ menu so everybody can venture somewhere over the rainbow, whether you choose to drink alcohol or not.”

We can’t wait to see where Simeone takes our inner child to play next (Circus and Nostalgia menus are running in Glasgow’) but for now, we are back in Kansas Toto.




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