Design focus: Rico’s Ristorante


Rico’s Ristorante

8A North Castle Street





Stefano Pieraccini’s Italian restaurant Rico’s Ristorante is a new 56-cover restaurant and 20-cover bar (that will open until midnight between Wednesday and Sunday) on the former site of The Honours, which was previously owned by Michelin Star Chef Martin Wishart for 11 years.


Named after his grandfather, Enrico Pieraccini, Rico’s is the latest addition to Stefano’s growing portfolio of restaurants, and his company The Rocca Group already operates The Broughton on Edinburgh’s Broughton Street, The West Room in Edinburgh’s West End and The Seafood Ristorante in St Andrews.


Stefano told DRAM, “The timescale we set aside was six weeks and I said ‘no chance’ but to the shopfitter, Severino Design’s credit, it came in bang on time. In fact, I was over the moon with the Severino Design – they were very professional, and I will definitely work with them again.  The idea that was in my head was executed very well with the odd tweak.


“The whole project was more design-based rather than structural and the only real hiccup was some furniture getting held up at customs in Belgium and the glass chandeliers (that aren’t in the pictures because they only arrived when we went to press) taking a wee bit longer to arrive than expected from the Mediterranean. Oh, and a leaking roof. That was fun.


“We think now is the time to bring something really different to Edinburgh city centre. The venue itself will be stylish, desirable and have a great atmosphere, but I also want it to be somewhere guests know they will get excellent, authentic Italian dishes and warm hospitality.


Said Angus Alston, Contracts Director at Severino Design who were involved in the project, “What a pleasure it was to work so closely with both Stefano and Susan Pieraccini and Alan at Davidson Baxter to achieve such a transformation in such a short timescale but also achieving such a high standard of finish.”


Let’s look at the design. It’s got the wow factor.  Your eyes will be popping out of your head at all the opulence. This refurbishment is dripping in it – right up from the black and white tiled marble floors which are a legacy from The Honours, with the monochrome extending to the paneled walls and ceilings also remaining, but that’s where the similarity ends.


Gone are the circles on the walls and there’s an army of new tables and seating with pops of colour coming courtesy of the orangey-red ribbed leather banquette, which contrasts with the grey and black marble, orange and black velvet with a red trim tub chairs and black velvet horseshoe booths that ooze comfort.


We particularly love the split-level wall lights (another legacy), the lozenge-shaped ones as well as the pendants, which are both circular and conical shaped, and the glass wine wall next to the more traditional wooden wine racks. The bottles are displayed on glass shelves that from a distance make them look as if they’re floating in the air.


Then there’s the light grey booth that’s tucked away with a string of naked exposed filament bulbs illuminating the proceedings.  The smoked mirrors, mottled walls and pictures also work a treat.


Stefano has also set his sights on expanding in Scotland and the north of England over the next five years.


He added, “ I want to develop Rico’s as a brand and this is a slow and steady process to get it right. I’ve spent a lot of time in the north of England and know the market well. I’d also consider a site in Glasgow.”