First Venetian tapas bar opens in the West End

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There’s no shortage of foreign flavours on offer at the West End but in a first for the Capital, diners can now feast on the true taste of Venice on Melville Place.

The recently re-launched West Room is now the first cichetti bar to grace Scotland’s capital city.

The West Room'Melville Place

The West Room'Melville Place

Cichetti, or small snacks, are similar in concept to Spanish tapas and typically eaten accompanied by a small glass of wine, called an ombra.

It is the first Edinburgh venture for director Stefano Pieraccini, who also heads up the award-winning Seafood Ristorante in St Andrews.

Having got the keys to the property in May, the restaurant has been revamped with the launch of a new breakfast and all day cichetti menu.

Mr Pieraccini said the food is simple, classic Venetian cooking.

“And it’s delicious,” he added. “There’s no other way to describe it.

“My parents live around the corner and used to come to the West Room bar all the time.

“It’s a really nice venue with a lot of potential.

“It’s taken us two to three months to really think about what we wanted to do and how we wanted to present it.”

The young restaurateur took over one of the most famous restaurants in St Andrews just last year.

The Seafood Restaurant, on the town’s Bruce Embankment, was acquired by the marketing and commercial management graduate who is excited about injecting his Italian heritage into the West End.

He said: “We’ve always had the idea to have an Italian. And we’ve got a very good opportunity here if we do it right.”

Stefano is half Italian and half Scottish and has been mentored by father Adrian, who previously owned the Rocca restaurant in St Andrews and also the Rocpool hotel and restaurant in Inverness.

Diners can expect Venetian-inspired dishes such as charred marinated squid, Nduja spicy Italian sausage, arancini, tiger prawns with chilli and garlic, Parmesan and chilli crochette and Buratta cheese, heritage tomatoes & basil salad.

The wine list, using the same suppliers as the Seafood Ristorante, is supported by both Italian and Scottish craft beers, Scottish gins, whisky and classically Italian themed cocktails including a selection of negronis and 
spitz.

Formerly a much-loved spot for breakfast, the new owner said they have kept some aspects the same as the previous offering.

“We serve breakfast as well as it was very popular previously and we have modernised it a wee bit,” Mr Pieraccini said. “The new chef has come in and taken it to the new level.”

With the refurbishment complete and a new lease of life injected into the venue, the restaurateur believes that The West Room now brings an elegant and vibrant offering to the area with a touch of Italian flare.

Mr Pieraccini finished: “This is always something I wanted to do, use my heritage by serving traditional Scottish food, with Italian flavouring and although it’s quite daunting it’s also really exciting.”