* Prices may differ from that shown
Working in Glasgow city centre I often like to have my wife come up and meet me so we can go for a meal when I finish my shift and 9 times out of 10 we end up in Di Maggios which offers excellent Italian food in the heart of the city centre but why so often I hear you ask, well here is why I love Di Maggios.
Di Maggios offers up excellent variety on their menu across all areas (starter, main, dessert) allowing for this to be a great venue for those nights out with friends, partner, family or even a works night out as there is something for everyone on the menu.
The food served up is always cooked fresh and extremely tasty and thankfully I have not had any bad experiences as yet following on from my many visits. I also love that your quality and taste are the same each time you go as I have visited other restaurants where you can tell it is a different chef but thankfully that is not the case here.
The restaurant itself offers a nice setting with plenty of seating but due to its popularity you are advised to book in advance. If you do turn up and request a table then you are always greeted by a friendly member of staff who will make sure they do all they can to get you a table and let you know if there is a wait what is going on during the wait (people just paying bill, table is just being cleaned, etc).
I have found all of the staff to be smartly dressed, friendly, helpful and knowledgable as when I have asked questions about the menu they have known the answers and been able to give me the information I need to make my choices.
Di Maggios is (as I said earlier) set in the heart of the city centre allowing you to have a great meal and be close to the shops, transport links and even the art gallery so you can relax and not worry about time so much whilst you enjoy your meal.
The restaurant offers up good value for money in comparison to other Italian restaurants in the city centre and with the quality on offer, consistently tasty food and generous portions then those who feel they pay slightly more than other places at least have this re-assurance over their meal being enjoyable.
As I have said earlier there is plenty of seating which can lead to the restaurant being very busy so if you are going for a quiet meal with your loved one this is maybe not the place for you.
This is one of those restaurants that I simply love to recommend to people and I have yet to have someone tell me they didn't enjoy it. Great food, excellent portion sizes and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere all add up to make this somewhere well worth trying out.
Di Maggios is an Italian restaurant chain based in and around Glasgow with two branches in the City Centre, one in Shawlands, one in the West End, one in Airdrie, one in East Kilbride and one in Hamilton. They have been around since 1985 and have the tagline "our family serving your family". As you might expect, they are popular with families and are what I would describe as cheap and cheerful.
* The restaurants*
All restaurants have the same decor and menu. The restaurants are decorated with dark wood, carpeted and have lots of pictures on the walls of baseball figures and film stars. The seating areas are split between booths and traditional tables. The booths have comfortable material covered bench seating, and the tables have wooden chairs. They are usually tables set up for 2, 4 and 6, and with advanced booking, they can set out tables for larger groups. I prefer booth seating personally because you have a bit more privacy, and somewhere to keep your bag next to you without putting it on the floor. These seat four people but they aren't precious about keeping them for parties of four and I've often been in one when there have been two of us.
Each restaurant has a bar area and a kitchen area which you have a clear view of. As you come in the door of the restaurant there is usually someone waiting to show you to a table. At the weekend it is best to book as it can be very busy. They don't mind you waiting, but they will warn you how long you might wait for a table. The menus are stacked up at the door so you are often given one to read while you wait. There are also tubs of crayons and colouring paper for younger visitors. They have high chairs available and are very good at accommodating groups with prams and so on.
You pass by the same area on the way out and staff are always sure to say goodbye to you. There is a tub of drumstick lollies at the door that you are welcome to take on your way out. The restaurants also have a business card prize draw which you can enter to win a free dinner for two. I've never won this and I think its really a way for them to get your contact details!
The one gripe I have is the toilet in the Glasgow branch. It is really small with only three cubicles in the ladies. The cubicles themselves are very small and you have to shuffle in and out around the door. Sometimes they are in need of a clean and the doors don't always lock so I wish they would get this sorted out. There are baby changing facilities in the ladies toilet.
* The food*
The restaurant is Italian, and so you find mainly typically Italian dishes on the menu - lasagne, tagliatelle, canelloni, pizzas, bruschetta and other usual suspects. They also sell other dishes such as burgers, steak sandwiches and chicken dishes. They sell a wide range of starters, mains, sides, desserts and drinks.
The starters are each around £4-8, and my personal favourites include Deep Fried Mozarella Cubes, Stuffed Mushrooms, and Goat's cheese salad. The starters are usually served with a side salad and some sort of dip or sauce. They are of a reasonable size (e.g. 6/7 Mozarella cubes served with a side salad and a tub of tomato dip).
Main courses vary more in price, but most are around £8-12. There are a range of pizzas available to suit all tastes, including some good vegetarian options. They do a speciality house calzone which is very tasty, and you have the option to change any toppings that you need to. The pasta range is fairly typical as I said above, with dishes sorted by pasta type. They have plenty of vegetarian options again, and their lasagne is their best selling product for very good reason. They also do burgers and sandwiches which come with all the trimmings including salad, coleslaw and chips. Chicken, seafood and meat dishes are also available but I can't comment on these as I tend to stick to pizza and pasta when I visit.
Side dishes are all around £2-4. These include chips, garlic bread, potato wedges and salad. They can be served instead of a starter, or with your main course and are usually a good size. The potato wedges are my personal favourite and you get more than enough for two people to share.
Desserts are pretty legendary here too. They mainly come in at the £4-5 mark and include cheesecake, chocolate fudge cake, apple pie and ice cream. When I was taken here as a child, my favourite was always the banana split but now I'm an adult and almost always on a diet, I usually decline dessert. I also find I don't need it if I have a starter and a main course.
The restaurants sell a wide range of drinks. They are licenced and so you can get wine by the glass or bottle, beers, liqueurs and liqueur coffees. They sell soft drinks by the bottle but you get the usual mark up. You can get a reasonably cheap tea or coffee (under £2) to round off your meal.
As I said above, as soon as you walk in the door there is pretty much always someone there to welcome you. They are prompt at showing you to a table, and if there isn't one available, they are honest about how long you might be waiting. I tend to book in advance and they always have my table ready so I don't have to wait around.
They typically take your drinks order as you take your seat, and these usually appear fast. They are pretty good at balancing out being attentive and leaving you alone enough to enjoy your meal. You are always offered black pepper/parmesan with your dishes and they almost always check that everything is ok when they come to take your plates away. They are usually good at noticing when your drinks are running low, but its easy enough to find someone when you want anything.
The branches in Glasgow employ mainly Polish staff who in the main have a good command of English but can lead to the odd confusing exchange. There are always plenty of staff milling around and although you might have one person covering your table, there are always others in the vicinity.
It never feels like you have to wait long for your food to be delivered and the bill always seems to come quickly too. There is nothing worse than having to wait all day for a bill at the end of your meal! I've never had call to complain about the service.
*Booking and offers*
Di Maggios is always on the 5pm website so you can book deals in advance. Typically you can book a two course meal for £10 in daytime, and £12 in the evenings. These menus have exclusions but there is enough of a choice of things you can have. In addition, the vouchercloud website/application often has a 20% off offer if you book in advance. So with a little forward planning you don't need to pay full price.
The restaurant takes advantage of events to offer specials. They offer a graduation menu during graduation time which includes three courses for a set price. At Christmas time they offer special lunch and dinner menus too. The good thing is that you can always access the normal menu if you want to.
In addition, a couple of the branches do home delivery and collection but I've never used this service as I'm not in the area for it. The food will be the same but I can't comment on the speed and quality of delivery.
The restaurants are not overly swish, but the food is good quality and value for money. It's a casual laid back restaurant that is a good pit stop if you are out shopping, or good to book in advance to take advantage of offers. There are plenty of Italian restaurants around the Glasgow area but this one has always been popular and its easy to see why. I'd recommend it if you like laid back, good quality Italian food.
Thanks for reading my review which may appear elsewhere.
Di Maggios, as the name may suggest, are a string of Italian restaurants situated in and around the Glasgow area. I will be reviewing the city centre restaurant specifically which is situated in Royal Exchange Square but I believe that the quality and atmosphere have been similar in their other restaurants so would (slightly tentatively since I haven't been to them all!) recommend the others equally.
I hadn't booked the restaurant and so was a little concerned that I would have to wait as it was a Friday night. Luckily there was room and my partner and I were seated straight away but it can get quite busy so I would recommend booking just to be sure if you really want to come here. From the start the waiter managed to achieve the right balance of being friendly but not intruding on us-my personal preference is when a waiter keeps out of your way except when you want them for something. This is actually quite difficult, from being a waiter myself, as you have to keep an eye on the guests and sort of guess what they want without hanging around them or butting in to ask if they need anything. I felt that the waiters managed to pop up almost as soon as I needed anything but I didn't feel I was ever hassled by them. They also took orders and served food in a reasonable amount of time.
The Di Maggio's website describes the place as a 'vibrant hub of activity' and I would say that is fairly accurate. However, whilst I assume they mean this in a positive sense, I found that it meant it was a little too busy, a little too noisy and the décor had a little too much going on in it. To qualify, it was far from terrible and not completely chaotic as some restaurants seem but there was a buzz that seemed to stem a little from panic with a constant circulation of people. My partner and I were placed in one of the segregated wooden booths this time which meant we were pleasantly separated from the other diners and had our own little calm isolated world but this couldn't be guaranteed as up the back there are many tables laid out in a common area.
The décor I felt was passable, with a dark wood and cream design throughout which is unlikely to offend anyone's taste. There were an excess of pictures floating around-as if they had wanted to cover every inch of the wall-and I felt that being a little more selective in choosing a few good pictures may have added the finishing touch to the surroundings which was missing.
The food overall was very good. As you would expect in an Italian restaurant there was a fairly large selection of pizzas and pastas but there was also a seafood selection, gourmet burgers and chicken and steak dishes plus the starters, breads and salads. The menu is quite comprehensive and will probably cover a wide range of tastes. I decided to go for the mussels in cream and wine for a starter and followed it up with Mediterranean salmon for a main. My partner went for bruschetta and lasagne. My mussels were excellent, the sauce creamy but with a tang from the wine and not too overpowering. It was quite a large bowl for a starter-I'm sure I've been given less for a main meal before! The salmon was nothing special but was correctly cooked with a pleasant side salad which was a lot more than a few scabby lettuce leaves. My partner said his bruschetta was very good and not over toasted as sometimes happens and the lasagne was very tasty, with a good creamy sauce but also a thick tomato based sauce.
For a city centre Glasgow restaurant on the Square I believe the menu is fairly reasonably priced. Starters hover around the £5 mark whilst mains are between £8 and £12 whilst side orders tended to be around £3. I do believe that you are paying more for location as although the food was good I have had equally good food and paid less for it outside of the centre, however, for the convenience of a central restaurant the mark-up in price is not too bad and prices are comparable or less than many of the surrounding restaurants.
Overall this was a pleasant restaurant experience. We felt relaxed and could take our time eating in nice surroundings. I have nothing negative to say about the experience, the only downside is that some people seem to really love it and I found it satisfying without being a really amazing place that I would rave about to everyone I know. In other words, I do recommend it but it doesn't quite feature on my outstanding restaurants list-its just missing that extra something!
For booking online or a brief preview of the restaurant then go to http://www.dimaggios.co.uk/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1