:— Empire building
When Pierre Levicky named his new vegetarian restaurant Pierre lupin. his eye may have been twinkling even brighter than usual. Since then. his brood has multiplied with rabbitJike rapidity and the franchised family is still growing. Edinburgh now has a fourth Pierre Victoire in Leith. and two Chez Jules. the even cheaper and more hectic cousins; Glasgow has the largest Pierre Victoire of the lot. in Miller Street. and. as of two weeks ago. the smallest. on Byres Road. which brought the total to eleven Scottish sites.
The Pierres are now marching south. They are already in London‘s Piccadilly and Bristol. with a Bath restaurant opening in two weeks. Dublin will have three by the end of September and by the end of the year. Levicky hopes to have added Brentwood, Brighton. Nottingham and Manchester to his empire: ‘maybe there will be 35 then. and we can just consolidate and enjoy life — to be honest. this is quite a stressful time.‘ he says.
lam not surprised. But isn‘t Levicky worried that this mass expansion will get out of hand. and the Pierre Victoire name suffer as a result? Apparently not. Glasgow‘s Miller Street was an early experiment with franchising which seems to have worked. and it is on this basis that other restaurants further aﬁeld are being established.
In the case of Glasgow. for example.
Michael Divers has put up the money for both sites. and pays a regular fee. in return for which chicky makes sure that everything. from the atmosphere- creating decor to the food itself. is consistent with the successful Edinburgh prototype.
‘The most difficult thing has been recruiting the good chefs. but now we have a system.‘ he says. ‘We train them in Edinburgh. and then we send one of our own to be with them for the first month of opening. We even have a competition amongst chefs inside to keep them enthusiastic.‘ Levicky also vets all suppliers and their prices. and every morning the day's menu for each restaurant is faxed to the Victoria Street headquarters for his approval.
lfthis sounds like McDonald's-ster
- 755‘; "f ‘ ' . , great“? corporate control. never fear. Levicky is too good a businessman to forsake the easy-going style which is as much his hallmark as a very good three course French lunch at £4.90. ‘The Bristol restaurant is run by two opera singers. they know nothing about this business. but when l was down. he was in the kitchen leaming to cook. she was serving. they were having a ball. it‘s really rewarding to give people something new to do. that they enjoy so much. it‘s amazing how many enquiries l have — one guy. he wants the franchise for Texas!‘ And will he get it‘.’ ‘Who knows. I have to see my lawyer first . . . but why not‘." (Catherine Fellows)
The latest addition In l/u’ Pierre Victoire empire is u! l 6 Bovres Road.
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The former Bankins greengrocers on Princes Street in Edinburgh, which stopped knocking out courgettes a few years ago, has been converted into a Continental-themed cafe-bar. A combination of styles has been used to create ilyan’s. The starting is the Irish name and bar staff trained in the ritual of pouring a proper pint of Guinness. However, this is no Irish boozer with nary a spitoon in sight. Instead the upstairs bar is light and airy, fitted out with what the publicity band-out describes as a ‘stylish
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Venetian interior’. Thereof of the ground-level bar is made up of five domes which have been delicately hand-painted by local artists led by Jane Edgell.
Downstairs, beneath the shoppers’ feet, there is a second bar which has a similar feel. The restaurant is made up of individual booths in the original underground cellars with each alcove painted to create a different theme with traditional Indian, Chinese and African designs.
Manager in Borzecki, who used to
be in charge of the Bailie in Stockbridge and had his own restaurant l’Alliance, says the menu will be made up of dishes from several European countries with plenty of vegetarian options.
Borzecki says Ryan’s will operate a relaxed door policy and is expecting a professional crowd, particularly during the day. It will start serving coffee at Sam and stay open until 1am on weekends with food served all day.
FLAVOUR OF THE FORTNIGHT
Pierre Levicky, the chef behind Pierre Victoire, celebrates the expansion of his restaurant chain with this special occasion seafood dish, which is simple to cook but relies on fresh ingredients.
SEAFOOD POT AU FEll, BURGUNDY WHITE AND FRESH THYME
For four people
8 langoustine (cooked)
1209 salmon fillet
4 filet of sole (skinned) 1009 turbot
8 Queen scallops
200ml dry Burgundy white wine 1 tablespoon clear honey 4 sprigs fresh thyme
The ingredients should be cooked in the following order: in half the wine, simmer the turbot, salmon, sole, mussels and scallops, being careful not to overcook them. Display all the ingredients including the cooked langoustine and raw oysters on a plate, using the colour of each ingredient for contrast. Keep warm in a low oven while the sauce is prepared. To make the sauce, add the remainder of the wine to the cooking juices, add honey and butter. Reduce the sauce until it is creamy and add the thyme. Beat the plates and serve.
WW m“ "l
i Tandoori Restaurant Offers You Excellent Buffet Nights. Mon (Vegetarian only) £6.95 Tuesday, Wednesday £7.95
6pm til late
A la Cane menu also available
661 0202 661 0306 27 Jock's Lodge Edinburgh
91 MILLER S'l‘RIiE'I‘ 041-22] 7565 16 BYRES ROAD 041-339 .2544
The List 30 July—l2 August I993 73