63rd + 1st is putting a Scottish accent on Manhattan influenced hospitality at their cocktail bar on Frederick Street in Edinburgh. The emerging brand has been inspired by the original Fridays in New York, which opened on the corner of 63rd Street and 1st Avenue in 1965.

Their stylish Edinburgh venue includes a spacious lounge and restaurant space, seating 100 guests inside with an additional 26 covers available on a heated outside terrace. Their signature cocktail is Violet Reign, a mix of Tanqueray London Dry gin, blue curaçao, grenadine, lime and thyme.

Food and drink for 63rd + 1st has been revised by development chef Chris Burns, taking inspiration from the cocktail menu to influence a small plate selection that draws from the eclectic tradition of New York street food.   

HeraldScotland:

Popular dishes for November will include the jumbo Creole shrimp pil pil, Brooklyn style mozzarella corn dogs, the Manhattan burger with Swiss cheese, crispy onions and chipotle mayo, chilli jam chicken lollipops to share and waffle ice cream cone flight for dessert. Their festive menu has been revealed ahead of Christmas party season. 

63rd + 1st is at 43 Frederick Street Edinburgh and 16 Bothwell Street in Glasgow. 

HeraldScotland:

In the Kitchen: Chris Burns on the 63rd + 1st festival cocktail and small plate menu

 

Developing new menus and pairing dishes with cocktails, a few questions for chef Chris Burns.  

What is your hospitality story? Tell me about your Chef background?

I have worked across the UK in a number of hotels including Auchrannie and Corporate Chef roles at the RBS HQ but 63rd+1st is where I've been able to develop and launch a brand, build my team and really been able to develop my creativity as a chef.

When we launched Glasgow, we worked closely with the management team on each aspect of the menu, and then rolled out the 63rd+1st concept in Edinburgh, keeping the ethos and passion we had created in Glasgow while tweaking the offer for the local market.

Each venue is slightly different and this is reflected in what we deliver as a kitchen team. 

What have been the founding principles of the menu for 63rd + 1st? 

63rd + 1st is influenced by the original TGI Fridays founded in 1965 in Manhattan on the corner of East 63rd Street and 1st Avenue. Our brand ethos is to bring the Manhattan influence with the city we are located in. e.g Edinburgh meets Manhattan on Frederick Street.

We celebrate classic cocktails and delicious plates with quality, fresh ingredients and memorable experiences in our beautiful cocktail bar and restaurants.

Our food menu features small, sharing plates, delicious salads, quality steaks and seafood, not to mention the irresistible puddings. We work with local Scottish suppliers  such as Donald Russell in Inverurie   - one of the best Scottish butchers you will find - this is reflected in the taste and quality of our steaks and meat. 

We want to give our guests a high quality experience in a relaxed stylish environment. It's a concept based on the joy of getting together and enjoying the best things in life : good food, good cocktails and good music

In terms of the much talked about drinks offering, the bar is the focal point of 63rd+1st. Our team of expert mixologists are second-to-none and are true experts in their field. From the Perfect Manhattan to Porn Star Martinis, chic timeless Negronis and some newly created drinks such as our Signature Violet Reign and the Boston Tea Party, our extensive cocktail menu has something for everyone.

How did you start developing new dishes to add to the latest menu? 

We try to be seasonal while retaining some of the plates our guests know and love, such as the jammin’ chicken lollipops or for those with a sweet tooth; the waffle cone ice cream flight is always a big hit. However we are a cocktail bar first and foremost, so we taste the drinks and curate our dishes to compliment.

We like to experiment but never compromise on quality and are proud to say our menu is totally prepared and cooked fresh in house by our team of chefs, using only the best ingredients on the market.

New York street food brings in a lot of different international influences, did that allow you a broad pallet of flavours to choose from?

Absolutely, New York celebrates the amalgamation of lots of different cuisines and flavours and we try to celebrate that across our menus. We have lots of nods to NYC,  for example our Central Park pretzel with smoked cheese dip or our Brooklyn mozzarella corn dogs and of course we have a baked New York Cheesecake with Oreo and raspberry ripple cream that our guests  really love. Another popular dessert is our “wee big apple “ donut, a nod to Scotland and NYC.

What are some of the highlights from the latest food offering? 

The jumbo creole shrimp is delicious and really fresh, plus the new New York inspired small plates like the Brooklyn style Mozzarella corn dogs and the Manhattan cheese burger with swiss cheese, crispy onions and chipotle mayo have gone down really well with the regular guests. 

HeraldScotland:

Is the Edinburgh after work crowd in your mind when you are designing the menus for Frederick Street? 

Our Edinburgh venue is in a beautiful central part of Edinburgh and it's perfectly positioned for the after-work crowd. As offices return we see a lot of people coming straight from work to relax with colleagues or for business meetings throughout the day.

We want our dishes to be tasty, accessible, easy to eat and experiential - socialising should be fun and we want our guests to feel they can pop in for a quick bite or make an evening of it. 

What is important when working with suppliers at 63rd+1st?  

We only work with the best suppliers that share the same attention to detail we strive for, not only when it comes to the quality of the ingredients but also the journey to get them to our kitchens and bars. 

Is Scottish produce a good match for the New York influenced dishes? 

Very much so and it's something we always try to build into our menus particularly given the quality of Scottish food and drink produce right here on our doorstep.

Some of the Scottish suppliers we work with include Campbell Brothers Fish, Donald Russell, Secret Garden distillery and Bibendum wine.

What are some excellent cocktail and food pairings to try? 

For Christmas we know we will get lots of groups of friends, colleagues and families celebrating with us. So we have created a festive pick & mix menu that pairs small festive plates with some brilliant cocktails - see below. 

Festive Pick + Mix Menu

Pulled smoky turkey and sweet potato croquettes, maple Chipotle ketchup dip

Paired with: Wild Turky Winter Warmer, Wild Turkey 101 bourbon, Angostura bitters, demerara, Maraschino cherry

Pigs 'n' blankets mini rolls, caramelised onions, American mustard, cranberry relish

Paired with: Festive Cheer, Tanqueray London Dry gin, green Chartreuse, Maraschino liqueur, lemon, rosemary

Prosciutto and fig, pretzel croutes, spiced fig chutney 

Paired with: Mistletoe Magic, Havana 3 Year Old rum, Havana 7 Year Old rum, Licor 43, Crème de Banane, lemon, Angostura orange bitters

Lobster and shrimp bon bon, confit garlic, lemon aioli

Paired with: Tinseltown, The Botanist gin, Limoncello, basil