Chef Scott Smith, a protégé of Geoffrey Smeddle – owner of Cupar’s “splendid establishment” The Peat Inn – has taken over the site of The Plumed Horse on Henderson Street in Edinburgh’s culinary neighbourhood, Leith. In the past this pub conversion struck our reporters as rather overhyped (being a holder of one of you know who’s stars) and inspired very mixed feedback up until 2014 when it dropped out of the guide.
Let’s hope that Smith’s new venture, Norn, can deliver the sort of restaurant that this foodie area of Edinburgh, and this venue, deserves. The 36-cover restaurant, which opened this week (17 May), is named after an ancient Scottish language and reflects part of the restaurant’s ethos – to honour Scotland’s food and heritage.
The restaurant will offer a fixed set menu of either four or seven courses that will change regularly to reflect the best of Scotland’s natural produce, both wild and cultivated. Smith has spent the past 18 months sourcing, meeting and selecting a trusted group of local producers including butchers, foragers, farmers, fish and seafood specialists.
The restaurant’s wine list is looked after by Marseilles-born natural wine expert and sommelier Sandro Colavolpe who has come from east London’s fantastic little Gallic bistro, Brawn, and previously worked at oenophile-haven Terroirs by Charing Cross station. The wines will be sourced from small, artisanal winemakers, where growers use traditional methods, producing sustainable, organic and biodynamic wines.
The dining room seats 32, with four stools at an ash wood bar overlooking the pass and into the open kitchen. Food service comes courtesy of the chefs (Ã la The Pass at Horsham’s South Lodge Hotel) who bring the dishes from the kitchen to the table and impart their knowledge of the food to diners. Sounds like this ambitious new venture is definitely one to watch.