Into the blue
Andrew Radford, the man
behind Edinburgh's Atrium
restaurant, is branching out into new premises. The future is bright, the future iS blue. Words‘ Jonathan Trew
When Andrew Radford started the Atrium restaurant in June 1993, the ezw‘iomy was at the tail end of the
bank manager is so happy that he makes the tea whenever the chef drops by.
Radford could have taken things easy, sat back a bit and only slipped on his chef’s hat when the mood took him. Of course, he hasn’t. Instead he has set about converting the floor above the Traverse box office into a stylish bar cafe called blue. The lower case 'b’ is enough to let you know that the place is going to be a stylish bar cafe before you even set eyes on it. Sheet metal and discreet neon line the approach stairway and a small window at the top of the stairs affords a glimpse of the place itself.
Designed wrth Edinburgh architect, Andrea Faed, blue has a very modern, minimalist tone. Light oak, stainless steel and, naturally, the colour blue are the main visual motifs. Split into a long bar with a circular seated area coming off it, blue can seat around 100 customers. The circular area is lit
le-((?SS::)H and Saltire Court, the almost all the way round by large building which Windows which till-USO the The lower case ‘b' is look out at the l A’riiillt, c rtly neon SI ns of the "alf full Tl ings enough to IEt You know Traverseg. Opaque -:'idn't Itzok that the place is gomg to blue chairs filter "'lIlH‘ly be a bar café the light which ;)i'omis~n-'_; Fcur’ floods In. The years later, before you even set eyes bar area looks Radford has a on across to some
"-flul (it Mitirgi‘ial
rosettes, stars, red M's and all . t“e other markings of a critically
a’ -: faimt-d
restaurant. More wipiwrtaritlv, the restaurant has earned
- itself a loyal customer base Radford’s
Edinburgh’s central Seafood Restaurant
and Bistro Bar
/‘s. we. a, K/
Fabulous variety of Scottish produce.
3 Hunter Square, Royal Mile, Edinburgh
0131 220 4447
Also Isle of Arran 01770 302810
90 THE LIST llv—24 Jul l99/
of Saltire C0urt's offices and down onto the Atrium and the Traverse’s interior plaza
Anyone using the lift to enter the restaurant is greeted by the sight of the open door to the kitchen which is always handy for those who enjoy a meal most when they can contemplate the frenzy on the hotplates.
Radford reckons that around once a week many of the top brass from the businesses which inhabit Saltire Court Visit the Atrium. The other people who work there, tend to come in occasronally for anniversaries or leaVing celebrations He has designed blue to be completely different to the Atrium With prices that will make it available to more peOple. A visit won't necessitate a worried check on the bank account. Lighter, brighter, fresher, cleaner is his mantra.
The food mirrors the decor in its modernity The menus are compact featuring four soups, four salads, four fish and meat dishes, four desserts and a small number of side dishes such as crispy bacon mash or leek and walnut gratin Diners can have as light or as
hearty 'a meal or snack as they want A raddichio, tiger prawns and garlic salad at £6 will satisfy dainty appetites while a cabbage and sausage soup at £3 followed by leg of lamb in mint crumble at £6, will fortify the ravenous. Food is served right through the day from noon to midnight so mid-afternoon snacks or post theatre suppers shouldn't be a struggle Radford hopes to d(lll(_“.’t’? a balante between food and drink sales With the bar being an integral part of blue Around 30 wrnes will to on sale mth a
12 ASHTON LANE
25 years of traditional Scottish cooking
Tel 01 41-3 34 5007
se|e<tion of them available by the glass. Beers, spirits and cocktails complete the range
Some of the chefs at the Atrium Will be stepping up to assume control at blue, while others wrll remain taking on new responsibilities. And Radford, \‘VIH he be hanging up his checks?
'l'm happier wearing a chef's hat than an entrepreneur's,' is his take on it
blue bar café, Cambridge Street, Edinburgh. 221 1222.
7 Old F ishmarket Close Edinburgh
Lunch and Dinner Monday to Thursday. Friday. Saturday and Sunday open all day telephone 0131 225 5428