The rabbit hole that is Pinterest recently led me to The Dogs, a small restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland, that specializes in comforting English and Scottish fare — as well as tasteful canine decor.
After drooling over menu and ambiance, and impressed with the way the restaurant’s staff kept up on social media (seriously, follow them, it’s a treat), I felt compelled to reach out and learn more.
Founder David Ramsden got his start in the food business in the late 1970s; his previous endeavors included FitzHenry’s and Rogue (both also in Edinburgh). Ramsden wanted to create a place with great value and locally sourced ingredients at a fair price. That he picked a theme celebrating his own love for dogs is just gravy.
The Dogs opened in early 2008 and was inspired by Ramsden’s own dogs, “who had been unquestioning in their loyalty and friendship when a previous business faltered,” he tells us over email.
His pack is composed of Fez, a Sloughi (a sighthound from North Africa), and a pair of Ibizan Hounds named Biz and Bo. Phret, a Pharaoh Hound and past member of the pack, graces The Dogs’ bar via an exploded photo shot by a person called Roz.
Roz is also behind the lovely canine artwork displayed at (A)more Dogs, a now closed spin-off of The Dogs that served Italian fare (pictured above), and Seadogs (pictured below), located on nearby Rose Street, which features seafood and sold earlier in the year.
Asked whether The Dogs had outdoor seating to accommodate canine customers, Ramsden says: “If well-behaved, then dogs are allowed in and get looked after normally. No outdoor area for them.”
Indeed, the restaurant’s Facebook page features photos of relaxed pups in patrons’ laps indoors. U.S. establishments could take a page out of Scotland’s book, no?
Fare at The Dogs includes “mussels cooked in a coriander and shallot reduction,” “lamb brisket chop with confit garlic and crispy bacon mash,” and “mince pie and almond parfait with a toffee cream.”
I sincerly hope that a visit to Scotland’s Hanover Street is in my future (and yours).
Dogster travelers: What are your favorite dog-friendly haunts?