Tripadvisor divides opinion but has moments of splendid entertainment. One such moment occurred with the arrival of Bruno’s 7-to-7, a diner that took over the premises previously graced by Two Thin Laddies. Their negative reviews were one thing; their responses were another. At the height of this, I remember bumping into a well-known Edinburgh hospitality character gleefully refreshing their reviews page in the hope that more car-crash-TV would unfold. And didn’t it just.
The fact that they sustained beyond this initial barrage speaks greatly of their intestinal fortitude and dogged optimism. But the restaurant reaper got them in the end.
In their place Piccolino has recently arrived. Now, I suspect they are going to have an issue with their choice of name. In the same way that Wildwood issued a cease and desist to what is now Birchwood, I imagine the Individual Restaurant Group will likely take the same view if and when they find an Edinburgh site for their Piccolino brand.
Anyhoo, this place has none of the bells and whistles of the Piccolino I visited in Manchester. It’s much more of a simple, family-run place looking to showcase classic Italian dishes. The space has a little bedding-in to do but I reckon it’s a good fit for what they’re doing.
I quickly settled upon a starter of melanzane parmigiana then followed with pasta in the form of paccheri with a venison ragu. I had a routine glass of red to wash things down.
Service was at a well-judged and steady pace. Some good olives came out to accompany the wine while the starter was prepared.
It arrived looking quite stylish. This dish is sometimes served as a dish of lava with little thought for presentation. This variant was both neat and served at a non-fatal temperature. I enjoyed it very much.
The sauce with the pasta main course was just a little dense for my tastes, but the venison was packed with meaty flavour and the pasta was accurately al dente. It was another enjoyable eat.
So overall, I was very heartened by the food at Piccolino. They are going to take a while to convince people that it’s safe to come back to an eatery in these premises, but once an audience is lured in I think they will be appreciative. I’ll be back to try more of their dishes and I’d suggest you do likewise.
Blythe scores Piccolino
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 14.5/20
I ate: melanzane parmigiana, paccheri with venison ragu
I drank: water, red wine
I wore: pinstripes
Total bill: £24.50
Address: 103 High Riggs, Edinburgh EH3 9RP