It’s a tribute to Edinburgh’s eating out culture that the city was selected for the first Foundry 39. Walking into the cavernous space, the design and layout is simply stunning. Comfy leather sofas in a lounge bar area, ideal for coffee/breakfast/cocktails, and beyong is a long Bar, with panelled walls, seating and screens separating different, discreet areas for drinking and dining.
Arriving for a late lunch around 2.30pm, to avoid the shoppers and office crowd, we selected a large private booth. First a Cocktail: the mixologists here are expert in concocting modern takes on the classics. A choice of four Bloody Marys, - the perfect brunch-time tipple - from which I pick Mediterranean Mary. The colour is dark ruby red devised from rosemary-infused Martin Miller gin, cherry tomatoes, tapenade and celery spiced up with Tabasco. With its rich, salty olive flavour, it’s an Italian salad in a glass. Divine.
Across the table, Ken is sipping a Smoked Heather Sour which is served with a cloche over the glass to preserve the smoky mist of this Whisky, Benedictine, ginger and heather herby cocktail.
The menu is simple yet ingenious offering sharing plates (nachos, garlic dough balls, chicken wings), burgers and pizzas. The concept of the Foundry Project is artisan produce and freshly prepared dishes. The 6 oz beef Burgers are created from “honest basics” – chuck, brisket and dry aged flank, with your choice of extras, such as Reuben, piled high with salt beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese.
Sourdough Pizzas are a speciality too and the six innovative toppings are tempting. I select Smoked Salmon and for Ken, Spinach & Olive, both handmade and baked to order in the wood fired oven. Served on wooden boards, these pizzas are large, flat and paper thin without the usual thick crust. Mine is layere with mozzarella, crème fraiche, capers, samphire, chopped soft boiled egg and slices of smoked salmon. Just like scrambled egg and salmon, this works perfectly. The soft sourdough base has a slight crispy edge and perfect to cut a slice and eat with the fingers!
The Spinach and Olive pizza is vegetarian and healthy with mascarpone cheese, spinach, black olives and.. again ..a soft boiled egg. All very tasty but lacking substance and sufficient ingredients – perhaps add sliced avocado, grilled peppers, aubergine. It definitely needs beefed up, in a vegetarian manner.!
Elsewhere on the menu there are main course salads such as Blackened jerk chicken with maple glazed bacon, as well as sides of Fries (three types) and bacon mac & cheese. Having enjoyed our pizza feast, we had no room for Dessert, but after your Cheese Burger, if you are still peckish, you can indulge in Chocolate Brownie with caramel sauce and toffee ice-cream and other sweet treats.
The Breakfast & Brunch menu looks mouth-wateringly good - Pancakes with yogurt and berries, Eggs Benedict, Full Scottish /Veggie. And of course, order a Bloody Mary on the side.
This is a speciality Cocktail bar with an enticing menu of re-imagined Margaritas and Manhattans. Craft beers & ales too including Barneys, Innis & Gunn, Anchor Steam USA, Old Mout Kiwi (NZ). A small but comprhensive list of white, red and rose wines, most served by the glass and bottle, Prosecco and champagne.
We shared a bottle of Antica Sauvignon Blanc - light, fresh citrusy. What I do not like are the so-called "wine glasses" which are in fact chunky water tumblers!. Not being able to hold a glass by the stem means the wine warms up with your hand.
The music soundtrack during our late and lazy lunch was ambient and laid back – the policy is vintage pop, rock and soul. Friday is live music night, Funkitback on the theme of funk, soul, social.
Foundry 39 has had little other than 5 star reviews over the last couple of months since opening:
“Fantastic selection of beers, the pizzas are delicious”
“Good atmosphere, great choice of background music wouldn't hesitate to come here again”
“This is one of the best restaurants in Edinburgh - I give it a BIG thumbs UP from me and the misses so try it out”
Yes, I agree, do try it out soon – Welcome Foundry 39 to the West End.