What: An upscale Italian restaurant in the Edinburgh site that once housed Martin Wishart’s The Honours brasserie. On North Castle Street, the 56-cover restaurant and 20-cover bar offers ‘quality Italian dishes made with the finest, locally-sourced Scottish ingredients’, including fresh pasta made daily on site.
Who: Rico’s Ristorante is part of Stefano Pieraccini’s Edinburgh-centric Rocca Group, joining The Broughton on Edinburgh’s Broughton Street; The West Room in Edinburgh’s West End; and The Seafood Ristorante in St Andrews. Named after Pieraccini’s grandfather, the restaurant is striving to be the city’s ‘top destination Italian restaurant’. “It’s a great feeling to be announcing some good news after the trials and tests of the pandemic,” says Pieraccini. “We think now is the time to bring something really different to Edinburgh city centre.”
The vibe: The restaurant is stylish, retaining the previous incumbents brasserie-like aesthetic and seating arrangements, but the space has been brightened up with a spot of white paint and attractive burnt orange banquettes. The bar is open to non-diners and will stay open until around midnight when Scotland’s Covid restrictions lift later this month.
The food: The menu is modern, combining high quality Scottish produce with upmarket Italian classics. Dishes include Isle of Mull scallop with guanciale; risotto with East coast crab and shellfish bisque; carpaccio of Tweed Valley beef fillet, smoked onion and truffle; pappardelle with organic Peelham farm rose veal ragù & black truffle; and Black Faced lamb with violet artichoke.
To drink: Rico’s Ristorante offers an extensive cocktail menu alongside a wine list created in partnership with high-profile Tuscan winery Antinori.
And another thing: Wishart - who launched The Honours in 2011 - has given Pieraccini his blessing, describing the 25-year-old as an ambitious restaurateur that has successfully navigated the challenges of the last 12 months.