FIRST thoughts on being told of “a little death” in Valleyfield Street were that my diminutive pal had poisoned himself with his cooking. 

Wee Dave and Mike shared a flat and the occasional botulism scare on that same Edinburgh avenue when the height of their culinary skill was putting fishfingers in the toaster. 

But it was only our meal that was to die for when we visited La Petite Mort on Valleyfield Street, just round the corner from The Kings Theatre in Tollcross. 

The name means “a little death” in French; the owners felt it had a theatrical touch – actors dying on stage etc – and that it tied in nicely with the restaurant’s former life as the “green room” for the Kings.

Petite Mort is also, ahem, a euphemism for an orgasm. 

Now we were already in a high state of excitement in the restaurant, Forth One’s Grant Stott was doing panto next door after all, but fortunately it wasn’t over all too soon and we could enjoy a fine lunch over a pleasant hour or two. 

La Petite Mort is connected to Bennets Bar, one of Scotland’s most historic pubs, and its traditional look is replicated in what is a cosy and intimate eaterie for up to 30 covers. 

Chef Neil Connor, previously at Edinburgh’s trendy Tiger Lily, serves Scottish-based food with an international twist and although it only opened last year, the restaurant has already finished runner-up in the casual dining category of the Scottish Licensed Trade Awards. 

For lunch, I opted for the Mojito-cured salmon tartare, crostini, micro herbs and a chive crème fraiche. The combination of soft, pinky red cubes of fish and the crunch of the crostini, with just enough creme fraiche to be welcome, was excellent. 

My wife chose black pudding and pancetta ballotine, with truffled cauliflower puree and pea shoots – also very tasty. 

Tough choices for the mains but I was more than impressed with the corn-fed chicken roulade stuffed with apple and walnuts, on a mushroom and sage risotto.

It could easily have been too creamy but the risotto was exquisite, with real melt-in-the-mouth flavours. 

‘Er indoors selected the Bennets Burger, made from minced beef, rosemary and garlic, with beetroot relish, brioche bun, chips and salad. It received rave reviews from across the table. 

I left room for dessert and was rewarded with sticky toffee pudding and gingerbread pudding, ably supported by vanilla ice cream and toffee sauce.

Again, in the wrong hands this could have been sickly sweet but it was judged to perfection and the taste of ginger lifted it to new heights. 

The better half chose the apple and sage bavarois, with saffron poached pears; the bavarois was packed full of delicious apple flavour and proved a particularly pleasant surprise. 

All in all, a standing ovation for La Petite Mort.     

La Petite Mort, 32 Valleyfield Street, Edinburgh, is open Monday to Sunday for lunch and dinner.

Go to or call 0131 229 3693 for more information.