Social Bite partner restaurant Vesta in Edinburgh's West End to re-open after makeover
It counts Hollywood royalty Leo DiCaprio as a customer and champions Scotland's mission to end homelessness - and now Vesta, on Queensferry Street, is shaking off its winter coat following a rapid refurbishment.
Known for its warm welcome and tantalisingly good food, Vesta Restaurant & Bar shut on Monday to undergo a speedy refurbishment that will see the interior transformed into a more intimate and cosy dining space.
Vesta is more than just a restaurant. It runs along the same ethos as partners Social Bite, a social enterprise aiming to end homelessness in Scotland, and gives customers the opportunity to pay forward meals for vulnerable people, as well as closing every Monday to serve a two course lunch to people experiencing homelessness.
And bereft diners keen to indulge in meaningful eats, don't have to wait long to see the new vision of acclaimed Scottish designer Jim Hamilton realised as the restaurant prepares to re-open today, with a refreshed and more prominent bar area to allow people to pop in for a drink and try and soon-to-be-revealed bar bites menu - think salt 'n' vinegar onion rings, mac 'n' cheese sticks with bang bang sauce and the legendary cauliflower "buffalo" wings.
The renovation coincides with the launch of a new menu in which head chef Paul Sutherland, formerly at the Ivy on the Square, includes slow braised pork belly with parsley mash, black pudding croquette & wholegrain mustard, confit duck leg with cauliflower dauphinoise, buttered greens & tamarind and Teriyaki glazed cod with broad beans, torched cherry tomatoes & herb mayo,
And if that's not enough to entice hungry customers, the new Guest Chef Series starts on May 30 where renowned chef at The Wee Restaurant Craig Wood will cook a four course dinner with a choice of two starters, mains and desserts with a cheese course to finish off the evening.
Michelin-star chef Martin Wishart has also confirmed he will return to the Vesta kitchen later in the year.
He took over the kitchen in November for one night only, raising over £1,500 for the charity.
The restaurant hosted Oscar-winning actor Leo DiCaprio before he gave the keynote speech at the Scottish Business Awards at the EICC in 2016.
The high-profile event saw the Wolf Of Wall Street actor follow in the footsteps of fellow movie star George Clooney, who met staff at Social Bite sandwich shop in 2015.
His visit to the Edinburgh Rose Street branch made worldwide headlines, while the Duchess of Cornwall has also popped in on a royal trip to support Social Bite’s work.
Social Bite’s restaurant Home relaunched as ‘Vesta’ last summer after originally opening in September 2016 as a partnership between Social Bite and Dean Gassabi of Maison Bleue.
The homelessness charity then teamed up with David Hall, one of Scotland’s most experienced hospitality operators, previously of The Innis & Gunn Beer Kitchens and Tigerlily, to create Vesta.
Mr Hall said: “We’re really excited about Vesta’s new look, care of acclaimed designer, Jim Hamilton. A cosier, more intimate and unique drinking and dining destination for the West End of Edinburgh. Come in for a drink, stay for a bar bite or settle in for a fantastic meal with friends. Vesta has a little something for everyone!”
Open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks the menu is bursting with beautiful, healthy vegan and vegetarian plates and comfort classics from steaks to truly indulgent burgers.
Vesta also provides training and employment programmes for members of the Social Bite Academy, the charity’s 4-year, paid course for vulnerable people. For further information, visit www.social-bite.co.uk
For the latest reviews, recommendations and openings in Edinburgh and everything you need to have a good night - join our new Facebook group here