la lanterna

La Lanterna

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I have my favourite places in Glasgow. I’m fiercely loyal to one in particular – La Lanterna. So the first place we booked for our trip to Glasgow had to be there. 

La Lanterna is at the bottom of Hope Street and you can easy walk past it without looking up. It’s when you walk down those stairs that the magic happens & you’re transported to the Mediterranean. 

We booked online so got our complimentary glass of bubbly to toast being back in our favourite city. 


We’d been saving up for the trip down so we weren’t going to pass up the langoustines to start. They come in a garlic and herb butter with all the necessary tools to break into the tasty claw meat. 


market price (roughly £12)

Mr S chose the Rib eye steak because the meat in La Lanterna is always tasty and this was no different. Served with plenty of lovely button mushrooms but could have done with a few more chips. 


Homemade ravioli is so hard to find in restaurants so I have it here on most visits. The braised duck and apple ravioli is sweet but the red wine & rosemary jus provides a savoury contrast. It’s just delicious! 

The ravioli portions are big so you don’t really need a starter. Just save some bread to mop the jus up. 

I’d recommend all of the ravioli and risotto in here – especially the veal ravioli & chicken risotto. 



For years we always had the tiramisu for dessert but now we swither between the tiramisu and cheesecake. This unbaked one is mascarpone led, rich yet light enough and dominates the plate. The strawberries and sauce add to it but by no means take over. 



La Lanterna is one of the things that I miss most about Glasgow. I’d love to say that we could try to recreate it up here one day but I know how much work goes into running a restaurant and I could never of even dream of reaching that level of Italian perfection. Some things are meant to be a treat and this one will always be worth the wait. 


La Lanterna

I have a list of restaurants that I want to try in Glasgow. In fact, I have a list of places that includes restaurants that I’ve been to before that I want to write about on here that I’ve raved to my friends about. As you can imagine, there’s not a small number of places on it but it gives me a feeling of satisfaction to cross one off. I love to tell people about places that I’ve enjoyed – my dad does this too & I think I’ve inherited his inability to keep information like this to myself. Out of all the restaurants in Glasgow the one that I rave about the most is La Lanterna on Hope Street. I love the place and hardly anyone my age seems to know about it so I spread the word. All the time!

It’s a cosy restaurant tucked down some stairs with old fashioned décor and white tablecloths. It’s a traditional Italian that makes their own ravioli & tiramisu instead of buying it in and closes on a Sunday. They recently won Scotland’s Best Italian Restaurant at the Scottish Entertainment awards & last year they won Best Italian Restaurant at The Glasgow Restaurant Awards so I am not the only person who has noticed how good they are. On a personal note, La Lanterna has lots of happy memories for me – many family gatherings, engagement celebrations, honeymoon choosing & anniversary dinners have taken place here.


As soon as we sat down we were brought over our free glass of fizz that they give you if you book online via their website. We took ages looking at the menu – everything sounds nice and it is a big menu so difficult to decide. The complimentary bread and butter arrived to stave off hunger so we could take our time. Eventually we decided on starter pastas and then the chateaubriand (it costs the same as two steaks and is always to die for).


Mr S went for the spaghetti with king prawns & lobster tail in white wine & cream sauce (£7.95). For a starter portion they were very generous with the lobster meat & prawns, and the sauce bound the dish together without being overpowering or cloying.


I chose the venison ravioli in a red wine & rosemary jus (£7.95). Almost every time I go to La Lanterna I have ravioli of some description because it is always tasty. I can vouch for three of the ravioli flavours on the main menu too, having only missed out on the goats cheese one because I don’t eat goats cheese. There are only a few restaurants in Glasgow that I know of that make their own ravioli so I like to take advantage of it when I can. This visit was no different – perfectly cooked pasta parcels with a rich, meaty filling. Luckily I saved a piece of bread to mop up the leftover jus.


I was so distracted by the ravioli that I forgot to take a photo at the start so apologies for the messy, part-eaten photo.

We asked Chris (the owner) about which red wine would suit the chateaubriand and he recommended the Nero Di Troia, which went perfectly. The wine list is as extensive as the menu, ranges from £14.95 to £195 a bottle and has a whopping 35 reds to choose from – the staff have always been helpful in assisting us in what to choose.

The chateaubriand arrived at the table on a big platter and is served in front of you. It comes with mushrooms, tomatoes, leaves, sauté potatoes & a generous boat of red wine and meat juice gravy. The meat was melt in the mouth and the gravy was rich – this really is a sublime dish. The sauté potatoes are crunchy but I notice that they do chunky chips and potato purée with a few other dishes so I must ask for one of them next time to try for variation.


At this point we usually have tiramisu – it is made in house & is my favourite in Glasgow – but decided to share the cheesecake (£4.95) this time. I’m glad we did because it was creamy but fresh with the strawberries and as good as the tiramisu.


La Lanterna will remain to be one of my Glasgow favourites for the foreseeable future and I look forward to more happy memories.




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La Lanterna on Urbanspoon

Laura’s Glasgow Restaurant Favourites July 2013

I thought long and hard about what my first proper blog post should be and decided to share my favourite restaurants in Glasgow at the moment. I don’t doubt that this will change over time so I will probably update it at least annually.

Italian winner: La Lanterna
runner-up: Italian Kitchen

Greek winner: Yiamas
runner-up: Athena

Chinese winner: Opium
runner-up: Dragon-i

Thai winner: Thai Lemongrass
runner-up: Tiki Bar & Kitsch Inn

Scottish winner: Cafe Gandolfi
runners-up: Guys
Fanny trollopes
Roastit Bubbly Jocks

Indian winner: Mother India’s Cafe
runner-up: Nakodar Grill

Fish winner: The Fish People Cafe
runner-up: Chippy Doon The Lane

Special Occasion winner: Ubiquitous Chip
runners-up: Stravaigin
Cail Bruich

Lunch winner: Celinos
runners-up: Cushion & Cake
Ashoka Ashton Lane
Tea Rooms at The Butterfly & Pig

Best For Groups winner: Viva Brazil
runners-up: Soho
Sapporo Teppanyaki

Bar/Pub Grub winner: Velvet Elvis
runners-up: The Butterfly & The Pig
Bier Halle
Brutti Ma Buoni

Leftovers (uncategorised) The Grill On The Corner (for Sunday lunch)
Cafezique (good fresh produce for breakfast, lunch or dinner but thumbs down for the website)
The Left Bank (a mixture of cuisines)
Number 16 (I just recently discovered this place and have only been once but food and service both got top marks from me)