Blackwood's Bar & Grill
- Telephone 0131 225 2720
- Bar open Mon–Sun noon–11pm
- Food served Mon–Fri 7.30–11am, 5–10pm; Sat/Sun 8am–noon, 5–10pm.
- Average price £30 (evening meal)
- Website www.niracaledonia.com
Delectably smoked Scottish fare in a plush, hushed New Town parlour, ideal for confiding dinners and dates.
This review is taken from the current (2016) edition.
Blackwood’s Bar & Grill, a plush New Town salon within Gloucester Place’s Nira Caledonia Hotel, smokes Scottish beef, shellfish, game, and even water buffalo, in its charcoal-fuelled Josper grill. The idea is to chargrill the meat fast and hot, crisping the outside and leaving the inside juicily tender, infusing the whole with the warm aroma of a forest campfire. The baroque parlour, once home to Blackwood's Magazine writer John Wilson, feels like a cosy, hushed club – ideal for confiding dinners and dates. ‘Our diners are often well-travelled,’ its menu begins, but ‘our dishes are more stay at home’ – expect Puddledub pork, Gartmorn duck, Perthshire wild boar, ‘Highland Drovers’ 21 day aged steaks, and, naturally, a loch of seafood. The good-value set dinner includes the heavenly starter of Josper-smoked Shetland mussels, fragrant, soft, and sweet in a moreish liquor of creamy, tarragon, shallots, garlic and East Lothian cider. Equally strong is truffle butter and hot or cold-smoked salmon on fresh bread, and a rich, dark chocolate fondant with cooling pistachio ice cream: all evidence of an imaginative chef who cares.
- High point: Exceptional smoked mussels
- Low point: Not great chips
- No. overnight rooms: 28
- Provides: Children's high chairs, Free wi-fi
- Capacity: 24
- Largest group: 24
- Open since: 2013
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 9
- House wine: £21 per bottle