By Chiara Pannozzo
It’s no secret, I’m a huge fan of Treacle. In fact, when my monthly bank statement lands on the doormat (I’m one of those retro people who still receives mail), the transactions headed for the Treacle bank account far outweigh any of my other outgoings. Such is my relationship with Treacle, and at times Hamilton’s, that when I heard the owners were taking their magic to the southside of the City, I was there, anxious to see if it stood-up to the two other members of the family. I can confidently say, that it certainly does.
Occupying the former Auld Toll Bar on Leven Street, The Blackbird oozes style. From the exposed brick walls to the beautiful green and gold cornicing, the interiors throughout are impressive, and almost unrecognisable from the watering hole it once was.
The food menu is excellent, with a real ‘Hamilton’s’ feel to it. Breakfast is served all day on a Sunday, perfect for restoring equilibrium after a heavy Saturday night. If like us your weekend had been a little more modest, the main menu has plenty to choose from. And so we opted for a charred steak sandwich, served with Dijon mustard and sweet onion gravy (£9.95). Served with chips on the side, the steak was cooked medium-rare (perfect in my opinion), and with a side salad, this made for a fantastic lunch. My side-kick devoured the 8oz Scottish beef burger with melted Scottish cheddar, tomato and chilli relish and home cut chips (£9.95). A terrific burger, you could really taste the quality of the meat, and the relish was a welcome change from tomato ketchup.
The dessert menu will have you deliberating as there are so many delicious things to choose from. We didn’t make it past the warm chocolate and peanut butter brownie with chocolate fudge sauce and vanilla ice cream (£4.95). I have no idea how the chef did it, but he managed to get all these components on one plate and still get a perfectly balanced dessert. My concerns over it being too sweet were nullified as I could have happily devoured a second one. If you prefer something a little lighter after your main, The Blackbird offers a selection of dessert-themed cocktails.
I can’t say anything other than, they’ve done it again. Fantastic food, great service and a downright cool place to be – do Colin Church and Martin Luney ever get it wrong? The answer is no. Other Edinburgh bars take note – this is how it’s done.
The Blackbird, 37-39 Leven Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9LH. Telephone 0131 228 2280.
The author of this food review has her own lifestyle blog – Wine and Olives.