Design focus: Amarone


Restaurateurs and hoteliers Tony Conetta and Mario Gizzi of The DRG Restaurant Group are known for aligning their high-end concerns with the times, and they’ve pulled it off again with the refurbished Amarone in Edinburgh.  It reopened on April 26 and what a transformation folks.


DRG has 20 restaurants and a boutique hotel in its portfolio and just to set the scene for you, Amarone Edinburgh is on St Andrew’s Square within the art deco Capital Building, slap bang in the heart of Edinburgh’s shopping and central business districts, and just a stone’s throw away from the likes of Harvey Nichols. The new-look, plusher Amarone doesn’t look out of place one bit in this exclusive wee corner of the capital.


One of the key aspects the refurbishment celebrates is the beauty of what is a sizeable space and perfect for social distancing because there’s an airiness to the ground floor complete with its raised area. There’s also a private dining room in the basement called Vault.


The outdoor terrace has been significantly upgraded too. It’s been extended, and is now covered and heated.


So what’s new about it? Six-seater round booths, arched passageways that lead into their own respective spaces, plus the glazed orb lighting that’s jewel-like as it hangs dazzlingly in the main dining area complete with its nine-metre domed ceiling. The beautiful wooden floors, sumptuous booths, grand pillars, marbled wall panels, and pictures are other highlights.


The majesty and grandeur of this space are further accentuated by what they’ve done with the gantry and the fact that it now mirrors the front-facing period arcade windows. It looks so at home in this beautiful setting they could have always been there.


Responsible for some of the lighting installations was Tom Adam of Elkis Lighting. He said, “I did the track lighting, LED tape, and gantry lighting.  We worked with the design team and what a great team they were to work with, always striving for excellence.  I have to say, the communication was great from start to finish. They wanted to create a dramatic dining experience and that’s what we did, chiefly by being a bit experimental and using versatile quality lighting.”


The metalwork is likewise something to write home about. Concept Metals Director Andy Duncan did it and he said, “ It was fantastic working with DRG again. They always go above and beyond with everything they do and the metalwork really does sing and adds to the overall design which I have to say is absolutely outstanding. The dark wood and satin finish brass are classic looking and I was really pleased with the end result.”


New decor, furniture, and lighting should all contribute make the Vault private dining room the go-to for customers looking for that special occasion or meeting.


The furniture is the combined handiwork of CCP and Lecs Upholstery and it just screams quality.


CCP owner Darren Rogers said,  “We’ve worked on about nine projects with DRG and they’re always a complete pleasure to work with. From the original design to making the concept a reality, communication never faltered and I really like their forward-thinking approach and the fact that every single design is different. What set this one apart from the rest were the new chairs and bespoke options.”


Lecs Upholstery Director Lorna Phillips added, “We provided the fluted fixed seating with vertical panels on the backrests and there were some interesting types of upholstery in a selection of fabrics and real leather.  We’ve worked with DRG several times in the past and it was great working with them again. They are always so professional and easy to work with.”


The last word must go to the two guys whose brainchild it was, DRG co-directors Tony and Mario.


Tony said, “Mario and I are so pleased to be able to constantly improve and nurture our brands according to what the customer enjoys, working with rock star teams behind the scenes including interior design, marketing, not to mention our chefs and e-commerce team who’ve worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic.’


Mario added, “The entire team has been so overwhelmed by the positive reactions from customers to the design improvements we’ve made. They are nothing short of stunning, but it’s always great to get that validation from our customers when we have all worked so hard. The terrace extension looks out of this world and will allow us greater flexibility in the future, plus the whole look and feel of the design is just so sympathetic to art deco Capital building.”



12-13 St Andrew Square




Category: Design, News
Tags: Amarone, DRG, Edinburgh, Mario Gizzi, Tony Conetta