After 10 years running a successful restaurant and building a reputation to match, husband and wife team, Vikki and Craig Wood, opened their second restaurant in the centre of Edinburgh this year. As with any opening, the new restaurant has proved challenging, but the duo has welcomed these challenges with open arms.
Having never visited either of The Wee Restaurant locations, I didn’t quite know what to expect. While I had heard many good things, the truth is, you never really quite know until you visit yourself.
Needless to say, I was not disappointed.
Produce at the Heart
Forming all of their dishes around some of Scotland’s finest ingredients from local suppliers and producers, the simple menu spoke volumes. Since opening the restaurant in 2006, Craig has worked very closely to build relationships with suppliers and learn from their expertise. Favourites include; Hendersons the butcher, David Lowrie Fish merchants, Wild Tastes and Pillars of Hercules Organic Farm.
Having worked alongside notable chefs such as Martin Wishart, it’s no secret that Craig Wood has a great deal of experience in the trade. However, Craig is a highly skilled and distinguished chef in his own right. The demands of running a second restaurant meant that it was imperative that Vikki and Craig built a team in which they could feel confident. While Craig designs the menus according to the seasonal availability of produce, these are discussed with Head Chef, Micheal Innes before being finalised. Matthew runs the kitchen on a day to day basis under Craig’s guidance. Together with an informed, attentive and passionate team, The Wee Restaurant’s hard earned reputation is certainly in safe hands.
While we struggled to choose from the tempting menu of dishes, we enjoyed some wonderful homemade bread with olive tapenade. After some deliberation, I opted for the festive menu, and my fellow diner opted for the menu du jour.
My starter of Peelham Farm saucisse with a crispy hen’s egg with baby mozzarella and dijon dressing was divine. Crisp breadcrumbs coated a runny hens egg, which combined with the mustard to make a sharp and rich dressing. Across the table, my friend enjoyed a warming pea and ham velouté – light and luxurious, the velouté was the perfect introduction to the varied menu.
My main course of wood pigeon cassoulet with puy lentils, onion confit, sausage and herb gnocchi was outstanding. The pigeon was smoked (and subsequently, roasted) beautifully. Seasoned perfectly, the bird was succulent and made for a delicious dinner. The gnocchi was light and fluffy, a perfect accompaniment to the creamy puy lentils.
My friend enjoyed a main course of Chicken stuffed with Peelham Farm saucisson on a butternut squash risotto. The dish of rich, indulgent risotto topped with a moist, perfectly cooked piece of chicken was thoroughly enjoyed.
Being the greedy blogger that I am, I rounded the meal off with a rich and decadent Chocolate Marquise. Deep rich chocolate marquise was balanced with sharp, boozy griottine cherries and hazelnut meringue provided a nice texture.
It’s true what they say about the best things coming in small packages. It will only be a matter of time before we are back at The Wee Restaurant – wee it may be, but mighty it is!
Find out more
Festive Menu, running through December
Example Menu du Jour, Edinburgh
Hogmanay – the perfect place to be until the wee hours
Find Them: 61 Frederick St, Edinburgh EH2 1LH // 7 Main St, North Queensferry, Inverkeithing KY11 1JG
Contact Them: Edinburgh – 0131 225 7983 // North Queensferry – 01383 616263 // Book Online