Last month I was out doing some Christmas shopping so I decided to reward myself with a mulled wine from the Christmas market at St Enoch. It all went downhill from there! I gave up on the shopping and Mr S decided that he was going to take me out for dinner. Our normal haunts were fully booked so we thought that we’d try Barolo Grill on Mitchell Street. We have been in once before when it first opened with my in-laws and I remember the pasta being nice, especially the crab carbonara. The restaurant is owned by the Di Maggio’s group, who seem to be taking over Glasgow with their chain of eateries. I’m not a huge fan of Di Maggio’s but I like Cafe Andaluz and we have been meaning to go back to Barolo. When I went on to their website to get the phone number to book, the first thing I saw in big, bold letters was “Newest addition to the vibrant culinary scene in Glasgow city centre”. I went two years ago so time for a website update perhaps? Besides that the website is easy to use, with lots of up to date menus to peruse.
Walking into the restaurant we were greeted immediately by the manager & were seated near the back in a booth seat. I don’t know why a booth seat always seems better but it does so it was a positive first impression. Visually I really like the place – it is slightly dark and cosy looking. It was almost full when we went in at 7pm, with a mixture of couples, after work’ers, Christmas parties and one or two families so it was fairly loud but our booth sheltered us from that.
We were deciding on wine when a helpful young waiter noticed us looking at the wine list and stopped to ask what we were eating. He then recommended the Primitivo IGT Barocco, which we went for. I thought it complimented the food so it was nice to see that he knew what he was talking about. To eat we shared some foccacia then I chose the lamb and Mr S picked the rib-eye with chips.
The rib-eye arrived medium-rare like he wanted it and it was thick so it had not dried out at all. It was on a bed of vegetables and the chips were delicious. You can choose to have a sauce with the steaks (£2.95 extra) so he went for the porcini & marsala sauce but when it arrived it tasted strongly of vanilla. I tasted it too and it had the usual sweetness that comes with marsala, I couldn’t taste porcini at all but it had an overwhelming flavour of vanilla. Fine for a dessert but definitely not a match for a steak. We got our waitresses attention and told her so she said that she would get another. When she returned with a second one it tasted exactly the same as before so we just shared my lamb sauce because he was halfway through his steak by then. My concern with the sauce is that, in my opinion, the chef should have tasted it and not sent more out. I only hope that’s not how it tastes all of the time.
My lamb, on the other hand, was a strong dish. The meat was pink, the fondant potatoes were soft and the sauce was delicious. The sauce tasted of natural juices but was thicker and glossy. The lamb was resting on garlicky broad beans & tomato. All in all, it was a dish that I enjoyed.
We ordered coffees and the bill and we had not been charged for the sauce, thank goodness. A manager came over & took our card payment but did not speak the whole time he was at the table – this was the only time that I did not feel like a valued customer!
Then we finished our wine, enjoying the surroundings. It really is a nice place to sit and I’d love to come back with my family. I’ll pop in once before that to ensure the Marsala sauce was a blip because there’s nothing worse than enjoying a meal then taking someone back and it doesn’t live up to expectations. Fingers crossed for Barolo.