Refreshed Maison Bleue restaurant open for business

After a month-long shutdown, which saw its distinctive blue, three-storey building on Victoria Street stripped out for a refurbishment, family business Maison Blue is once again open to the public.

The business was founded 17 years ago by owner Dean Gassabi and the restaurant’s fusion of French, Scottish and North African food styles and its city centre location made it popular with foodies and tourists.

Owner Dean, whose daughter Layla is also now closely involved in the day-to-day running of the restaurant, said: "The scale of the [six-figure] investment we have made sends out a very clear message – we intend to be around for a long time to come.

"While Edinburgh has thousands of food outlets, you can count on your hands the number of independent restaurants in the city centre which have been around for 15 years or more."

During the refurbishment, by contractors SBS, the centuries-old building was stripped back to its original stonework. Much of that stonework has been incorporated into the new design.  

Dean and Layla worked with renowned Edinburgh interior decorator Grant Rough, of Rough Designs to ensure the riot of inspiration brings out the best of the Gothic building’s interiors. Externally the restaurant will still boast the colourful hanging flower baskets it is renowned for.

Menu staples include dishes such as a haggis balls, deep fried and served with tatties and a whisky sauce, a fragrant North African Lamb Tagine, as well as its signature surprise calamari dish – the recipe of the surprise sauce has remained a Gassabi family secret for many years.

The 70-cover restaurant, which also has a 25-seat lounge and bar area, employs 30 staff and has traditionally undergone smaller updated every five years. To celebrate this major refurbishment, there will be an official launch party next month.

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