Dad and Daughter Team Delight Diners with Plans for Le Bistrot


Maison Bleue THE FATHER and daughter pairing behind Edinburgh dining institution Maison Bleue have

announced the launch of a new venue in the city’s bustling Morningside area.

Dean and Layla Gassabi aim to have their new restaurant, Maison Bleue Le Bistrot, opened

on Morningside Road in the second week of April, with the extensive refurbishment well


The move is the first extension of the Maison Bleue brand, which is one of the best-known

venues on the city’s thriving foodie scene after 18 successful years in the old town.

Dean, 58, said: “This is a major investment for us and comes just a year after the extensive

refurbishment of our Victoria Street restaurant – which is a real sign of our confidence in the

Maison Bleue name and brand.

“We have been looking around for a considerable time to find the right venue and were

keeping a particularly close eye on Morningside. When this opportunity came on the market

we knew it was perfect for us.”

News of the imminent opening has already created major buzz in Morningside and

Layla added: “The number of people who have been stopping by and asking when we are

opening is amazing. They can’t wait for us to launch, which is a great early sign that we have

chosen the ideal location.

“While Le Bistrot will me unmistakably part of the Maison Bleue family, it will be different

and distinctive in its own right.

“We have space outside for tables and chairs for that real sense of Parisian café culture, so

really want to see people making the most of that, particularly as we’ll be serving Saturday

and Sunday brunch.

“The menu will be focused on bistro-style food and we’ll be encouraging guests to sit

outside and enjoy a café noir, croissant, croque monsieur or a small draft beer in the French

fashion, biere a la pression.”

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While the menu is still being finalised, it will veer toward traditional French with elements of

Maison Bleue’s colonial specialiaties from North African, Creole and Vietnamese cuisine –

often with a Scottish twist.

In terms of design, Le Bistrot will also tip its hat to 70-cover Maison Bleue, which renewed its

reputation for eclectic style with its six-figure refurbishment in 2015. That saw more of the

centuries old brickwork exposed, while the décor blended LED lighting, neon signs, velvet

boudoir style seating, mismatched chairs and an eclectic mixture of vintage and Victoriana


While Le Bistrot will have 45 covers, augmented with outside seating, it will follow in its big

sister’s footsteps with the exposed brick, Moroccan Jardin Majorelle colour palette and the

atmospheric candlelit tables.


The family have many ties with the Morningside, not least since Layla was born in nearby St

Clair Terrace and is a former pupil of George Watson’s College. It means the Gassabis are

well aware of the differing tastes and demands a Morningside clientele will expect.

As well as a keenly priced set lunch menu and weekend brunches Le Bistrot will offer

customers the option of afternoon tea, a pre-theatre menu, and both an a la carte and set

dinner menu.

Dean added: “Morningside and Bruntsfield have developed a great reputation for quality

pubs, gastropubs, cafés and restaurants.

“We saw an opportunity for a quirky French bistrot and decided that this is exactly what the

neighborhood needs. The added bonus of being the wee sister of Maison Bleue is that we

come with 20 years of culinary success behind us.

“We are really looking forward to opening, to extending the reach of Maison Bleue and to

becoming a valued member of the Morningside community.”