26 July 2014

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Galvin brothers open two restaurants north of the border


caledonian hotel 2012 - 2012_Caledonian_Exterior_HR.jpgLondon chef-restaurateurs the Galvin brothers will open two restaurants in Scotland this summer, both at The Caledonian Hilton Hotel (pictured, right), on Edinburgh’s Princes Street.

The first will be a reworking of the hotel’s existing dining room, The Pompadour, whose glamorous interior is listed by Scottish Heritage and whose setting gives views over Princes Street. The second will be called Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, to be located on the ground floor of the hotel.

‘As with everything we do, the food at both restaurants will be based on French classic cuisine,’ Chris Galvin told Square Meal. ‘At The Pompadour, we’ll be offering “fine dining with the edges knocked off”, as my brother [Jeff] calls it. In terms of our London restaurants, The Pompadour is probably somewhere between Galvin La Chapelle and Galvin at Windows in style.

‘At the brasserie [see artists' impression, below left] there will be a lot more hustle and bustle. We’ll have a shellfish “altar”, and we’ll offer plats du jour and set menus. Diners will also be able to eat at the bar.’

galvin brasserie de luxe 2012 - 2012_Galvin_Brasserie_de_Luxe_HR.jpgThe Pompadour’s kitchen will be run by head chef Craig Sandle (formerly of Number One Restaurant, in Edinburgh), while front-of-house will be managed by Dale Dewsbury (ex-Restaurant Andrew Fairlie). However, the brothers plan to divide their time between the Scottish outfits and their London interests.

‘Jeff has taken a flat in Edinburgh for the first three months of the project, so we will be there quite a bit when the restaurants launch,’ said Chris. ‘From then on we’ll be zipping up and down to Edinburgh each month. But we have confidence in our team – you’re only ever as good as the people working for you.’

The restaurateurs are looking forward to their first project in Scotland. ‘I have been cooking for nearly 38 years, and for most of that time I’ve worked with Scottish products such as scallops, oysters, salmon, game, grouse, and Angus beef,’ said Chris. ‘The Pompadour is a restaurant that Scottish people hold close to their hearts. There seems to be a great willingness to bring this hotel back to life.’

This article was published in July 2012.

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