City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Amore Dogs

Average Rating:
Restaurant Photos
Photo of the Edinburgh restaurant
Restaurant profile
Edinburgh Area: 
New Town, Edinburgh
Serving times: 
Daily: 12:00-16:00, 17:00-22:00
0131 220 5155

Italian cuisine “doggy style” - David Ramsden's follow-up to successful gastropub formula of "the Dogs" restaurant based upstairs.

The Reviews


£10 Challenge: Amore Dogs

Reviewed by Euan Andrews

Monday, August 9, 2010 - 10:38am

First came The Dogs. Named after his best friends, David Ramsden’s small upstairs bistro on Hanover Street mixed boho chic and scruffy elegance with cheap, quality food and a focus on the more underused seasonal ingredients. It was a haven for offal and less illustrious fish, transforming them into deliciously homely recipes. Basically, The Dogs took the gastropub concept and removed the “pub” element, to great effect.

Later on, after Ramsden’s venture had received deserved plaudits and mentions in every worthwhile UK restaurant guide, there would be Rose Street’s Sea Dogs. This specialised in, you guessed it, sea food. Like its mother restaurant, Sea Dogs offered up affordable unpretentious food at bargain prices (well worth a visit for the coronation mussels alone). Ramsden has also opened the basement Underdog bar on Hanover Street, so far an oddity which seems unsure as to its status or position.

Above Underdog, however, is Amore Dogs. For me, this is Ramsdens finest achievement in his Dogs empire. Taking Italian cookery as its inspiration, Amore Dogs is a bright, modern, multi-levelled space. White and red are the predominant colour schemes, with the occasional glimpse of Italian heritage glittering in the décor.

Amore Dogs also has, it must be said, the most attractive waiting staff in Edinburgh. Ramsden seems to pick only the most chic of fashion students for his employ, whether ladies or gentlemen, and the ambience on entering is friendly and attentive. Water in a red jug is immediately provided as the menu is perused. The antipasti is always a good starter for two to share, a selection of Italian cured meats and cheeses that works perfectly as an appetiser.

Main courses are Amore Dogs strongest points. There are pizzas and pastas in abundance, but also present are various Italian-themed dishes such as a chickpea and pork belly broth, and ragu with a marvellously firm and sticky risotto cake. In keeping with the Dogs tradition of using the less well-known relations of ingredients, one pasta dish has garganelli (think of a malformed penne) with a simple sauce of rocket pesto and sun dried tomatoes. The perfect summers lunch on one plate. The pea and pork belly risotto is also excellent, perfectly cooked with sweet peas contrasting perfectly with the nuggets of pork belly and, like the icing on a cake, a wafer of salty crackling placed on top.

Amore Dogs makes no claims to be an authentic Italian restaurant. There are plenty trattorias and pizzerias around the city if you want them. What is terrific about all three Dogs restaurants is that, despite being situated in Edinburgh city centre surrounded by eye-poppingly expensive menus, people who might not think beyond the sandwich shop or fast food takeaway for their lunch are able to eat well on a budget, perhaps discovering some dishes that they wouldn’t otherwise try. In their own way, the trio of Dogs feel like game-changers.

Price of lunch: Starters £4-£5; Mains £5-£6.