From the same stable as Amarone comes Barolo Grill, a lovely little Italian style palace, on Glasgow’s Mitchell Street.
With dark crystal light-fittings and smartly appointed booth seats, this place had a group of forty “mature” French tourists, who arrived shortly after I was seated, purring with notes of Gallic approbation.
The a la carte menu is extensive, so the abbreviated lunchtime menu, offering two courses for £13.95 or three for £16.95, was a very welcome sight, as I’m not sure my brain was functioning well enough to cope with page after page of options. It offered a good range of options, likely to cover the interests of most for the middle of the day meal.
To follow my soup, which turned out to be a chunky vegetable minestrone, I opted for the risotto, which combined smoked aubergine with red peppers. I’m a great aubergine fan, so was eager to try this tempting sounding combination.
Soup arrived in no time at all, and looked good. In fact, it looked exactly like the soups in Asti and the Bread Street Brasserie should have done. The key was the texture, which was so much more robust and pleasing, and all for the simple addition of a few beans and a little pasta. It tasted grand, too, so I was a pleased diner.
The risotto that followed had two mistakes: the peppers served only to add the requisite tricolore colouring to the dish, and didn’t provide that extra burst of flavour to elevate the dish; and it definitely could have been a touch looser, as it lacked that slightly wet ooze that characterises really top-notch risotto. That said, these were the only things wrong with what was otherwise a beautifully seasoned and lightly smokey sensation of a dish. The texture of the rice had none of the graininess that too often blights the pursuit of the al dente finish. With more flavour in the peppers and a little more goo, and it was getting close to the quality of risotto you get at The Bonham, which is high praise indeed.
So overall, the Barolo Grill serves mighty fine Italian fare, so should be near the top of your places to consider when seeking this sort of thing in Glasgow’s city centre. Its super-stylish interior is matched by the quality of the dishes on offer. Make it your business to pop in for a visit, soon.
Blythe scores Barolo Grill
4/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
4/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 15/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: minestrone soup, smoked aubergine and pepper risotto
I drank: sparkly water
I wore: blue linen suit
Total bill: c.£18