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The Bon Vivant is a bar/restaurant with a difference. The Bon Vivant caters for all tastes and requirements. We offer a wide range of cocktails, beers and spirits along with our award winning wine/champagne lists. To accompany this fantastic drink offer we provide tapas style bites for £1 to graze on whilst enjoying your drink or more substantial meals if the bites are not enough. All of this is served in a fantastic lively atmosphere by well informed bar staff and servers.
The Bon Vivant is a welcoming and understated wine and cocktail bar nestled at the heart of the dizzying array of culinary finery that is Thistle Street – one of Edinburgh’s best stretches for dining out, with such quality establishments as Café Saint Honore, Dusit, Iris, Henderson’s, Fisher’s in the City, Café Marlayne and Tex Mex.
I’m a big fan of the place. It’s becoming a regular post-dinner stop for me, usually to sample a new treat from their excellent wine list, but this time my attention was focussed on their splendid cocktail menu. I enlisted the help of Iain, a committed cocktail aficionado, to help me on my way.
Standing at the traditional wood and marble bar – the place is heavy on wood, giving a homely feel – we contemplated our options from the extensive menu. We looked suitably gormless, so were soon approached by a barman, proffering sage advice.
Barman: “What kind of mood are you in, today?”
Me: “I’m in a happy mood!”
Barman: “What’s your spirit of choice?”
Barman: “A quick hit or something to contemplate?”
Me: “The latter, please.”
Barman: “A gin Old Fashioned?”
Me: “Sounds grand.”
Barman: “Any of our gins you haven’t tried? Perhaps the Botanist?”
He had me at “The Botanist“, a gin made on Islay.
What he produced was a high quality twist on a classic, with just a blend of bitters and a touch of sugar melding with the gin to form something entirely warm and cosy. I took it to a comfortable chair and mulled upon it for a while. My doubting companion went for something altogether more tarty in the form of a Knickerbocker, which was high on pizzazz and zing. He was delighted with it.
For our second round we swapped personas, with a calm, sophisticated Americano (a campari cocktail, not a coffee) ordered for Iain while I went all blingtastic with the Millionaire Cocktail. Campari is not my thing, so I didn’t indulge, but it was proclaimed to be very nice, indeed. My blend of rum, apple brandy and sloe gin (and a heap of lime) was way to fruity and sharp for my palette, but I could appreciate the skill at work.
Overall, the Bon Vivant is lively, classy and stylish. Its cocktails are prepared with considerable care and attention by their expert, friendly staff. We’d heartily recommend that you pay it a visit the next time your palette is requiring a little dazzling.
BKR from lunchquest.co.uk