One of our most delicious discoveries of late is Bittersweet in Leith. This bar of intimate vibe and decor fully embraces the joyful culture of aperitivo. But contrary to the Italian tradition, centuries old, these bitches tend to stay all night, devour EVERYTHING & drink like sailors.
For the uninitiated amongst us: aperitivo means “open the stomach.” The idea being: to have a few drinks, and a few small plates, before heading on to dinner. Though with our stomachs open 24/7, it’s difficult not to get carried away.
For a start the Handmade Gnocchi with parmesan & gorgonzola will change your life! Then it’s near impossible to resist the Bruschetta, Golden Calamari, Potato Crocche and, let’s say, three gorgeous bottles of Greco Di Tufo.
But this adventure begins – as many of our drunken tales do – with a cheeky cocktail. Simply known as the DARK SIDE of HINA, it’s a dazzling mix of rum, banana syrup, triple sec, pineapple, lime & ACTIVE CHARCOAL! A feast for the eyes and your tastebuds, we are utterly seduced!
Though as we tenderly wave sobriety farewell, we also feel compelled to abandon linear storytelling. For we now realise this story actually begins a decade ago with Bittersweet’s owner: Fabrizio, our handsome Italian 🇮🇹 hero …
Just nineteen years old, and newly arrived from Naples, he can’t speak a word of English, and is washing dishes in a high-end London restaurant. Tirelessly he works his way to master mixologist, but his ambition doesn’t end there.
Inspired by Edinburgh’s reputation for fine food & spirts, he relocates and launches the OLD POISON DISTILLERY💀 producing his own gin, rum and vermouth. Then of course comes Bittersweet, where he asks his brother Simone to be the man responsible for the mouthwatering menu.
Thank heavens he said yes! For his Lasagne, Arancini & Deep fried pizza dough go rather magnificently with this sharing platter of cured meats, cheese & handmade focaccia bread. OOOSH!!
And despite the fact our aperitivo has somehow lasted SIX HOURS, we’re still able to squeeze in the sumptuous cheesecake with a rich berry compote, and Fabrizio’s homemade limoncello – which is f**king magnificent!
We raise our glasses to his passion, success & a story that happily ends with the Social Bitches as his favourite customers!
Reviewed July 2022
24 Henderson Street