“ Address: 55 Battlefield Road / Glasgow / G42 9JL / Scotland „
The Battlefield Rest Italian Restaurant will always have a very special place in my heart. It was there that my husband and I had our first ever date together (he lived across the road and he was still late!). We ate there with both sets of parents to celebrate my long awaited pregnancy. We have eaten there with friends and family on numerous occasions and it was there that our girls had their first eating out experience.
Situated in the Southside of Glasgow, in the shadow of the Victoria Hospital, on what is effectively a roundabout, The Rest does not have the most picturesque or peaceful of settings. The wail of sirens as ambulances bustle by and the buses thundering past in all directions, would, in most circumstances detract from the ambience of such an establishment, but it actually seems to emphasis the cosy atmosphere inside. There's something comforting about watching the cars driving past in the lashing rain, while nursing a glass of red, with a steaming bowl of pasta in front of you.
The Rest is somewhat unusual, possibly even unique. The building was a tram-stop and newsagents originally and lay derelict for some time. It was threatened with demolition but a local campaign saw it saved and then restored in 1994 when it opened as a restaurant. It is decorated on the outside with green and cream tiles and has an octagonal clock tower. The clock is operational and is a real landmark in the local area.
It's small, and the tables are packed in. Tastefully decorated with original artwork (available for sale) and impressive murals on the walls. A hint of tartan (but not too much), candles, paper napkins. Wooden tables with plastic covers, wooden chairs, unless you are lucky enough to get a wee corner table with a bench seat piled high with comfy cushions.
The food is predominantly Italian, with pasta and pizza dominating the menu. However the menu is wide and varied with a specials chalkboard supplementing the choices.
Starters include mussels, minestrone soup, fishcakes, sardines, antipasti, bruschettas, pate, Italian sausages, crepes, the list goes on and on. You can also opt to have a small starter portion of any pasta dish from the mains.
Main courses, aside a huge selection of pizza and pasta, also include chicken topped with haggis (one of my favourites), Moroccan lamb stew, duck, steak, salads, seafood, something for everyone really.
If you still have room for a dessert, there is a daily selection in the refrigerated cabinet in front of the bar area of the restaurant, so you can drool before you choose. I usually struggle to choose between the pavlova, which melts in the mouth, and the Tony's homemade tiramisu. There is also a choice of ice creams, crepes or cheese and biscuits.
Still got a wee space left??....liqueur coffees, expresso, cappuccino anyone?
The Battlefield Rest has a very small but reasonably priced wine list and a full bar. A fairly recent, and in my opinion, very welcome addition, has been the Peroni on tap.
Now I am not going to describe the dish I ate because I have eaten my way round this menu so many times, where would I start? Suffice it to say, I have always found the food delicious, portion size spot-on, and the service superb. I think repeat custom speaks volumes for a place and the staff know (and are known by) so many of their customers by name that this is a commendation in itself.
The owner is almost always on hand in the evenings, working with the waiters and ensuring everything is running smoothly.
Many of the staff have been there since the first time I ate there (1997) and they really do know what they are doing. Some are Scottish, some Italian, some Spanish, all of them exceptionally good at their jobs.
It is always busy, but you never feel like you are being rushed to eat up and free up the table.
For children, there is no "kids" menu as such but smaller portions of just about anything on the regular menu is available.
Our two girls love eating at "The Pasta Shop" and one of them has developed a bit of an addiction to the mussels stew!
Starters around £5, pizza £8, pasta £7-8, mains £12, desserts £5.
Peroni £3.50 (pint), house wine £12 (litre), bottle of wine £14-15
2 Course Lunch £7.90
Pre-theatre (2 courses) £11.90
The last time we ate there (four adults and the two girls) we had three half pints of Peroni, four starters, four mains, two small pastas, two ice creams and two litres of house red and the bill was £92.
Great value, in my opinion.
In order to present a balanced opinion I felt I had to include this but I really did have to rack my brains and, to be honest, I'm having to be a bit picky. Sometimes the tables can be a bit on the small side for the party seated. And the view is not great (unless you find the Big Issue seller outside the Co-op particularly entertaining). Err, and that's it.
Highly recommended if you are in the area. Very handy if you are heading to an event at Hampden. And I'm always free if there's a spare seat at your table.
Battlefield Rest, 55 Battlefield Road, Glasgow
Tel: 0141 636 6955
Closed on Sundays
Booking recommended (often essential)
Check out www.battlefieldrest.co.uk for full details of the menu and pictures of the building.
(Review originally posted on Ciao by me under the same username carcraig)
Formerly a tram station, this building was transformed into a restaurant for everyone to continue enjoying.