In the past week if you would have asked me whether or not I would be going to the Dogs over on Hanover Street, I would have said that no, I had no plans to do so. But this week has proven me vastly wrong. Tuesday evening we began our Christmas night out in the Underdogs with a bottle of Prosecco to celebrate the various joys that have already been touched upon in our Chez Jules review.
Then, two nights later, I found myself there again with the mother of a dear friend, who, in herself is becoming someone I rather enjoy spending time with. After a lovely spa day at the Sheraton (I have now asked Santa for a weekly spa day for the rest of my life as a consequence of this trip), we went over to Amore Dogs, right above the Underdogs.
Amore Dogs is an interesting hybrid of Italian American food. What this means to me is that along side the traditional Italian staples such as a few pasta dishes, a risotto, and pizzas, they serve up bagels, burgers, and other very odd mixes of two worlds. This is by no means a bad thing. Actually, though the menu didn’t overtly inspire me, I was rather pleased with the carafes of wine on offer and the array of happy looking people in the place.
We were seated by the large windows by the front. The place itself is on many levels with an open, bright feeling to the whole place, with a few nooks and crannies tucked away. It has become a thing that whenever I see seafood stew on a menu, I feel the urge to order it and compare it to Blythe’s—which is simply fantastic. So for this evening we ordered bread and olives for the table, and I went for the seafood stew and my friend went for the spicy bacon, chili and tomato pasta. My waitress was lovely enough to tell me to be sure to save my bread for dipping in the delicious stew.
The problem with the place that really struck me were the acoustics. When the place was packed, I had a bit of trouble hearing my companion speaking to me over the table. But I should say that when I returned to Amore Dogs for an early dinner on Sunday, I sat in the exact same seat and since the place wasn’t full, it was easy to hear my companion.
My stew was simple. A bit simple for my tastes. A couple of nice languoustines, some mussels and a few rings of squid and a some carrots and celery in a really tasty tomato liquid that was somewhere between a broth and a stew. It was good, but I felt that for that for the price of over £10 I should have gotten more… or it could have done with something in it to bulk it out a bit. But the waitress was correct, the bread in the stew was absolutely delicious.
We forwent dessert and ended the evening on a good note, a mere two hours after we sat down. Then, a few days later, I was back, in the same spot, but I didn’t order the same thing this time. It did cross my mind, but I opted for the simple bacon, tomato and chilli rigatoni that my friend had ordered on Thursday night; we both did, in fact.
Before long, the pasta arrived, and I was immediately saddened to see a hefty sprinkling of cheese over the top that was not mentioned on the menu. And so I shoved the top layer of pasta to the side and tried to ignore it. The pasta was cooked perfectly. It still had that nice bite that seems to only be noticed when I find it and realize how much of a difference it makes in the taste of the pasta itself. The sauce was good with onions and bacon, and we both pretty much ate all of it (cheesy bits aside). And, for the grand total of £15.00 for the two of us, it is a great place to pop in for a nice bowl of quick and tasty pasta. Next time I go I may be brave and go for something more on the ‘American’ side of the menu—like a burger or bagel. You know, go really crazy-like.
MJ scores Amore Dogs:
3.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for service
3/5 for setting
giving an overall 13/20
The Lunchquesters were: MJ, Jo, Jenny
We ate: Seafood stew; bread; olives; chilli, bacon, and tomato rigatoni
We drank: carafe of wine, water, tea and coffee
We wore: New black coat, snow boots
Total bill: £36.00; £15.00
104 Hanover Street
Edinburgh EH2 1DR