In a nutshell
Good Brothers, founded by Graeme and Rory Sutherland, is bringing the natural wine movement to Stockbridge, Edinburgh alongside some outstanding Scottish cuisine. Yes, it’s all about the wine (there’s over 100 of them on the ever-rotating list) but that doesn’t overshadow the fantastic food.
Head chef Maciej Szczepanski has created a menu of classic Scottish cuisine with a twist to accompany the wine selection that includes organic, biodynamic or natural. Chef Maciej has spent the last ten years working his way up the chef’s ladder in the US, Europe and the Far East. His philosophy on fresh produce, seasonality and sustainability is shared with Graeme and Rory.
What are they cooking
Good quality, Scottish produce is the focus of the kitchen. And the short menu is divided between sharing plates, small plates, large plates and afters. You can make your way through their selection, sampling dishes tapas style or go traditional with a three-course meal.
We began our meal with the wild mushrooms – beautifully presented with a truffled confit egg yolk and plenty of Grana Padano on top. The intense umami flavours of the hard cheese and nutty truffle combination was full bodied and well balanced. Thai fishcakes paired with the house kimchi were equally flavoursome – it seems that Edinburgh is lapping up fermented vegetables at the moment and the kimchi here cut through the spicy fishcakes well.
Bavette of beef from Angus Limousin cross cattle from the Black Isle, was served with fat hand-cut chips. Yes, it’s simple. But, delivered medium rare, it tasted incredible and showed off the high-quality produce that Good Brothers are using.
Braised ox cheeks were just as good. Served with the creamiest celeriac puree and delicious bone marrow gravy, it was like winter on a plate. Both large plates were matched brilliantly with a 2010 Laurent Lebled Touraine Cabernet France, with lots of full fruity berry flavours.
What’s the room like/atmosphere
Previously Good Brothers was an outpost of Bon Vivant, which has several other bars and eateries in Edinburgh including the original Bon Vivant bar on Thistle Street, the Devil’s Advocate, a whisky bar on Advocate’s Close in the Old Town, and El Cartel Mexicana.
Good Brothers feels like a cosy drinking emporium, candle lit, peaceful and relaxing but with a brighter fresh décor than it’s previous incarnation. You feel very much at home but in the company of plenty of other wine-and-food loving locals.
Menu must-orders and misfires
Aside from the bavette of beef, the Pear Tarte Tatin with whipped citrus cream cheese and rosemary syrup is a true standout. The pastry had glorious crunch, and the pear and rosemary was a cracking combination.
If you’re in for dinner then go for a sharing plate while you’re checking out the menu. The bread and house oils crank the standard breadbasket up a notch. There’s a great selection of warm, homemade breads with an olive tapenade, pesto and dukkah infused oil to accompany them.
Booze is the main focus at Good Brothers. Both Rory and Graeme have spent years working in the wine industry.
The wine list covers fizz, white, red, pink and orange, while wines by the glass are written up on blackboards near the bar. The focus is organic and biodynamic, ‘natural’ wines that match brilliantly with the food.
All of the staff have a fantastic knowledge, imparted by Graeme and Rory, and they will expertly guide you through the list should you want them to do so.
The time is now for natural wine and Good Brothers are proving just that, alongside some quality cooking. With the menu changing seasonally that gives you just the excuse you need to go back again sooner rather than later.
4-6 Dean Street
Reviewed by Hilary Sturzaker, November 2016
Image credit: Chandra Isenberg