Over the past couple of years, it feels like the standard of restaurants opening in Edinburgh has skyrocketed. It feels like there are new spots popping up all over the place, so obviously, my supper wish-list grows pretty much on a weekly basis. The New Chapter had been pretty high on the list – sister restaurant of Otro (event review here) I had heard great things about the spot, so when I was invited to enjoy one of their weekly Jazz Nights, I couldn’t resist!
Tucked into a quiet New Town street, the New Chapter restaurant feels like a real institution. Tables are clustered around an intimate dining room, with chandeliers twinkling and conversation bubbling up. Jazz nights are held each Wednesday evening, and when we visited, the clientele were a mix of couples enjoying date nights and families chatting away as Robert Pettigrew and Kenny Ellis performed some truly wonderful jazz.
The live music was absolutely glorious – and we heard pretty much every other diner remark at how lovely it was to enjoy such talent. We were no different – I’m not usually the biggest jazz aficionado, but the two gentlemen’s talent was so wonderful to enjoy! Since I wasn’t driving, I got to enjoy a cocktail, and opted for the New Chapter take on an espresso martini. Smooth and gloriously boozy, it was the perfect accompaniment to sip alongside the great music and delicious food.
New Chapter pride themselves on the seasonal produce championed by their menus, so we couldn’t resist ordering the Hand-dived Orkney scallops, warm pork belly & black pudding terrine, bacon broth & crushed celeriac (£14). The presentation of the dish was absolutely glorious, and the mix of sweet scallop, and salty pork belly was incredible.
I was thrilled to see octopus on the menu, so opted for the Grilled Octopus, brandade mouse, chorizo with wild garlic emulsion and Amalfi Lemon Dressing (£9.50).
An absolute love song to summer produce, I absolutely loved this dish. The octopus was perfectly charred and almost buttery in texture. It worked well with the spicy chorizo, and the brandade mouse brought a light savoury note to the dish. As beautiful as it was tasty, this dish really highlighted the talent on offer at New Chapter.
We couldn’t resist the sound of 35 days dry-aged Ribeye steak from the Borders, lamb’s lettuce & peppercorn sauce (£23). Served medium-rare, the steak was perfection – both incredibly tender and flavourful. The peppery lambs lettuce and peppercorn sauce were a great match with the rich meat.
The steak also gave us the perfect opportunity to add a side – parmesan and truffle chips (£5) which were out of this world good. Super thick cut, the chips were crisp on the outside and deliciously fluffy on the inside. The truffle oil was delicately scented, and paired perfectly with the salty parmesan. I’m not going to lie, I probably enjoyed more than my fair share, but they were beyond tasty!
Even though I’m not the biggest seafood person, I couldn’t resist the sound of Halibut, crispy confit potato, mussels, charred leeks, mussels & olive oil sauce (£25), and I’m so glad I chose something a little different from my usual, because honestly, I’m still dreaming of this dish.
The chefs at New Chapter really know their way around seafood, and this dish was perfection. The halibut was a perfect anchor for the dish. It sat on top of a mussel and olive oil sauce which I could have eaten like a soup, and the mussels were perched on top like little tasty jewels. The charred leeks gave a delicious hit of flavour and colour, whilst the confit potato was absolute perfection – all crisp exterior and clouds of potato on the inside.
Even though we were more than full after enjoying such glorious dishes, we couldn’t resist a little dessert to round off the evening. We settled on the Caramelised apple terrine, calvados creme & apple sorbet (£7) first. Something between an apple pie, mille fuille and crumble, it was absolutely divine. The calvados creme was boozy enough to give the dish a kick, whilst the apple was fresh and zesty.
I opted for the rather indulgent Chocolate cremeux, mango, sea buckthorn curd, mango & yoghurt sorbet (£7.95) since I can’t pass by the mention of sea buckthorn without trying a little. It was a glorious end to the evening – the rich chocolate cremeux was silky smooth, and the mango and sea buckthorn gave the dish a lightness which stopped it from all feeling like a bit too much.
As you can probably tell, we had an absolutely wonderful time at the New Chapter Jazz Night, and have been recommending it to pretty much every person I come into contact with. The music of Robert Pettigrew on piano and Kenny Ellis on bass was an absolute treat to enjoy, and the service we received was truly second to none.
Thank you so much to New Chapter for having us – you can find out more about the restaurant here.