Ten years after opening their first restaurant in North Queensferry, husband and wife team Craig and Vikki Wood are preparing to launch their second restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town.
The 38-cover restaurant will open at 61 Frederick Street (the former site of Fleur de Sel) on Thursday 7th April.
The Wee Restaurant Edinburgh will extend the ethos of The Wee Restaurant North Queensferry, offering simple, good food and wine alongside excellent service from a small team who share a vision of delivering a friendly, informal and relaxed dining experience.
Craig, Catering in Scotland’s reigning ‘Chef of the Year’, commented: “Although many Wee Restaurant dishes have changed over the past 10 years, our philosophy has remained the same. We aim to deliver great food based around the seasons, cooked with care and passion. We want to showcase the great ingredients available to us in Scotland.”
Craig will continue to be hands-on in both kitchens, working closely with his head chefs Sam Dorey in Fife and Michael Innes in Edinburgh, as well as writing menus, designing new dishes, tweaking old classics, training staff and overseeing the quality of all cuisine.
Edinburgh-born Michael Innes comes to The Wee Restaurant Edinburgh from three-Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain where he was head of production. Michael and Craig worked together at Edinburgh’s Malmaison almost 15 years ago when Craig was executive chef and Michael was a commis chef.
Craig said: “I’m excited to be working alongside Michael again. Since we last worked together he has spent his time in some of the best kitchens in Spain under some incredible chefs. We share a passion for great food and an appreciation of the excellent produce available to us in Scotland. His passion and enthusiasm will enable him to be a driving force in the kitchen, helping him to develop a culture of learning and development for our younger chefs.”
The Wee Restaurant Edinburgh will open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday offering an a la carte menu, as well as a set price ‘menu du jour’ at lunchtime and until 5pm on Saturday.
Craig commented: “Our decision to bring The Wee Restaurant to Edinburgh will allow many of our existing customers, and lots of potential new ones, to experience our brand.”
“Our driving force from the start has always been to exceed customer expectations, ensuring they have a great experience. We look forward to delivering a similar experience in Edinburgh.”
The Wee Restaurant Edinburgh
61 Frederick Street
Edinburgh, EH2 1LH
Tel: 0131 225 7983
Monday – closed
Tuesday-Friday 12-2.30pm / 5.30pm-9.30pm
Sunday 12-2.30pm / 5.30-9.30pm
A sample menu can be viewed here.
About The Wee Restaurant, North Queensferry
Nestled under the Forth Rail Bridge in North Queensferry, The Wee Restaurant celebrates its 10th anniversary this month. The 40-cover restaurant’s ethos is to serve good, simple food and wines in a truly relaxed atmosphere. The Wee Restaurant won ‘Restaurant of the Year (Casual Dining)’ at the SLTN Awards in 2014.
17 Main Street, North Queensferry, KY11 1JG
Tel: 01383 616263
About Craig Wood
Before opening The Wee Restaurant, Craig worked in some of the country’s most respected kitchens including Restaurant Martin Wishart, the Royal Scotsman and the Crinan Hotel. As a hands-on chef-proprietor, he is passionate about the quality the service and the food offered in The Wee Restaurant. He believes food is at its best when cooked simply, and his kitchen techniques are designed to complement the produce, enhancing their natural flavours. Craig is Catering in Scotland’s ‘Chef of the Year 2015’.
Mitchell MacGregor Public Relations
0131 629 3902 / 07801 286005
This week’s star is a little gem. Polentoni (not Paul and Tony) which was opened in 2014, can be located in the shadow of Easter road football ground, home to the famous Hibernian football club. Franco Pratico and his wife Sarah have created an extremely popular Italian deli which have people coming back, time after time to sample the delights they are known for. Polenta is one of the main ingredients used by the people from the north of Italy. Polentoni is the nick name given to a person of a larger girth who, shall we say, eats a little more than they should. Polenta is traditionally eaten with any type of stewed beef or perhaps game meat, simmered with garlic, onion, herbs, wine and stock. It’s a marriage made in heaven.
Polenta is made in a similar fashion to our own native porridge, with the addition of Parmesan cheese and butter to season and flavour it. Once ready, it’s normally turned out and shaped on a large wooden board, where the Polentoni using a string to cut it, would portion it out onto the guest’s plate and pour the sauce on top.
Way back as a young student in 1976, when I worked in the Zumstein hotel in Macugnaga in the Dolomites, polenta was one of my first memories of traditional Italian food that I’d never seen before. Extremely filling and reasonably cheap to make, it sets you up for the day.
Franco also specialises in making wonderful hand crafted bread which is produced fresh, daily, and then filled with delicious cheeses, salami, mortadella; a large Italian sausage; and their speciality, homemade porchetta, which is a rolled fatty pork roast. The sandwiches, in my mind, are the best to be had in Edinburgh and very reasonably priced at around £3.50.
Franco also serves wonderful pasta dishes at lunchtime. My favourite dish, Ragu di fegatini with pappardelle, is slow cooked chicken livers, seared in quality olive oil, garlic, onions, fresh herbs and white wine reduced for a couple of hours to a dense sauce which coats the pappardelle, then it is dusted with parmigiana, to create a dish which is second to none. To finish, with your coffee, Polentoni’s has a great selection of homemade cakes and biscuits, all served by Sylvia at the front counter. What else could you need for lunch?
So, the next time you are in town, looking for somewhere to go for a bite to eat, head to polentoni, and tell Franco, JB sent you!!