Cocktail culture is booming in the capital, one of the reasons the after-work crowd and weekend shoppers are finding their way to the stylish Edinburgh venue from 63rd + 1st. Scottish development chef Chris Burns takes influences from the drinks menu when crafting a small plate and sharing menu that draws inspiration from the tradition of New York street food. There's plenty of local produce with a refreshing Americana twist. Here's what you need to know:  

What's the story? 

An open and comfortable lounge and restaurant space with a prominent bar as a focal point, mixing up a steady supply of colourful creations, delivered by attentive staff. It's a relaxed environment, somewhere to meet up with pals to divide and conquer the menu. The setting is fashionable without trying too hard. There's deisign nods towards sixties classic style and Manhattan. 

Where is 63rd + 1st? 

The starting point for the concept was the address of the original TGI Fridays bar and diner that featured in the movie Cocktail and inspired a generation of mixed drinks. It was at the corner of East 63rd Street and 1st Avenue in New York. From that came the idea of bringing a Manhattan influence to each city location they open in, an opportunity to work with local Scottish suppliers like Donald Russell in Inverurie while calling on a broad range of international influences. 

This particular 63rd + 1st is at the heart of the action in the city centre on Frederick Street, close to the main retail streets of Edinburgh and local neighbourhoods around the New Town. 

Best of the menu? 

Chicken lollipops with chilli jam make an ideal bar bite. There's a version of a Coney Island classic with their Brooklyn mozzarella corn dogs, served with a dollop of ketchup and mustard. Comfort food plucked from East Coast boardwalks and transplanted to Scotland with ease. Buffalo sauce was first served in the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York before going global, here you can have it on cauliflower "wings". For loaded fries, ask for pepperoni crumb and chillies on top. 

For a more substantial meal, look for a 12oz New York strip steak, an impressive cut of beef that can be dressed in bone marrow butter and topped with scallop thermidor. The plant-based "chicken" taco comes with a rum and pineapple salsa. For dessert, a baked New York cheesecake with Oreo raspberry ripple cream and chocolate sauce. 
The Herald:

Something from the bar? 

The real opportunity is to mix and match drinks with your food. They've all the cocktails you would expect, plus their own variations. For something with Caledonian notes, order The Auld Alliance: Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky, Grand Marnier, Galliano L’Autentico, apple and Angostura bitters. A cool, crisp selection comes in the form of the Lychee Martini: Stolichnaya Premium vodka, lychee liqueur, limoncello, apple juice, lemon. Go New York with Maker’s Mark bourbon, Cocchi Vermouth Di Torino, Noilly Prat, Angostura bitters, Angostura orange bitters and cherry. 

63rd + 1st