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Leith Chop House - Bar & Butchery
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Leith Chop House
102 Constitution Street,
0131 6291919
Monday-Friday: 12 noon - late; Saturday-Sunday: 10am - late

The owners of Sygn, The West Room and Monteiths have added a bonafide restaurant to their more 'bar-oriented' portfolio and Leith Chop House is an addition they can be proud of. A redundant building in a dead spot of town has been transformed into a buzzy eatery. 

In previous incarnations (e.g Leith Lynx) the space was cold and minimalist, now it is cosy and contemporary with just 40 covers and an interior, featuring copper, brass, herringbone tiles and leather banquette seating.

The clientele on the night we visited was split between those who may have enjoyed classic British steak houses the first time around and a younger trendier crew. The mix makes for a welcoming un-intimidating atmosphere. 

The owners have kept things simple; cocktails, seafood, steak and pudding. LCH may be a twist on the old fashioned 'Berni' but it can boast premium beef steaks sourced locally (Hardiesmill, Highland Wagyu) dry-aged and butchered in-house, and then cooked on a charcoal grill. Sharing cuts such as chateaubriand and porterhouse enhance a core steak menu.

I order an Evergreen (£7.50), a delicious balance of Capel Pisco, Briotett Pear Liqueur, star anise, lemon and Boker's bitters made by bar manager Michael Lynch who has an impressive cocktail making pedigree. Sheila has a refreshing Ruby Tuesday (£6.50) comprising Père Magloire VSOP Calvados, lemon, rosehip & elderberry tea soda.

A starter of seafood cocktail is nicely presented and plentiful but we think the salad could be crisper, plus a wedge of lemon and dusting or paprika in lieu of more imaginative touches would add colour and zing. My lobster bisque is thick, flavoursome and satisfying the result of an excellent stock. Finishing touches include a nest of caviar. 

For mains Sheila has fillet well done and I am impressed that it is still so tender and tasty. Meanwhile I tuck into a post Macbeth rare sirloin which is equally good. Peppercorn and béarnaise sauces hit the spot as do beef dripping chips and a fiery kimchi slaw. This is hearty dining in a convivial setting. 

Desserts are a triumph; a retro seasonal trifle for me, with plump blackberries and chunks of juicy grainy pear whilst Sheila has the cheeseboard. We discover The Westray Wife from Orkney a hard cheese redolent of the salty windswept coast and named after a small Neolithic figurine. 

Two Pere Magloires with their crisp apple notes and oaky finish top a very hospitable evening. Leith Chop House has cracked it. 

 Look out for: Sunday roasts, £5 corkage Mondays & Tuesdays,  house pale ale. 


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