“ Italian Restaurant / Address: 92 Albion Street / Glasgow / G1 1NY / Scotland / Tel: 0141 552 3186 „
One of my favourite restaurants in Glasgow is the Italian Caffe in Albion Street in the Merchant City in the heart of Glasgow. It is the sister restaurant to the Italian Kitchen with is located on a block away on Ingram Street.
the Italian Caffe is a classy, modern and relaxed restaurant which is situated on a corner with floor to ceiling windows on 2 walls. The restaurant prides itself on fine, fresh foods and superb wines in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere and it delivers on every aspect.
The wine list is extensive and is one of the main draws with over 50 wines available most of which are very reasonably priced. But for me the food is simply spectacular and very socialable. One of the restaurants specialties is it small plates and it provides diners the opportunity to choose a selection of small dishes to share and taste (kind of like italian tapas - but way better). The variety to choose from is extensive with dishes split into various categories:
Meat & Poultry
One of my favourites is the Homemade Meatballs in Tomato Sugo (I am not a meatball fan but these are divine and the flavours are amazing)
The list here is extensive including pork, beef, chicken, veal, duck and lamb. Plenty of yummy options.
this section contains dishes like grilled asparagus with hollandaise sauce, sweet pepper and onion ragy, roast potatoes with onion, thyme and balsamic vinegar, and of course the italian classic and one of my faves mozzarella with roasted vine tomatos and peppers.
These include mozzarella, tomato and basil, or rocket, cherry tomato, red onion and parmesan as well as many more.
Fish & Seafood
This takes up a whole page on the menu and is a seafood lovers delight. One of my favourites is langoustines baked in butter and garlic or the king prawns in a spicy sweet savoury sauce, but there are loads to choose from including salmon, oysters, swordfish, anchovies, tuna, mussels, sardines, sea bass and squid.
Pizzette (small Neapolitan Pizzas)
These are cute small pizzas probably the size of a side plate and a great addition to the feast and come in four varieties - a traditional margherita (wow, simple but lush), wild mushrooms, italian sausage and the final one plum tomato.
There are also daily specials that are always very tasty and worth trying.
In addition to the small plates if that is not your thing there are pasta dishes too which always look lovely but i have to admit i have still to try them as the other dishes are always so good that i prefer to have a mini feast.
The desserts are also something special the affogato (homemade ice cream with a shot of espresso is amazing) is a particular fave but again there are chef's specials which again are worth trying, I once had the most amazing brownie I have ever had with ice cream here.
I cannot recommend this restaurant enough the food is simple yet delicious and the wine is very very good.
The atmosphere in the Italian Caffe is very relaxed and buzzy (in a good way). The service is very good just the right amount of friendliness withour being too much, they can't do enough to help and are always there when you need them without being too intrusive.
With a bottle of wine, plenty of dishes, desserts and coffees the bill normally comes in around £25 - 30 a head, which for city centre eating of this quality is great value.
To book you can call 0141 552 3186 (it is better to book to make sure you have a table as it is very busy) Check out the menu and restaurant at www.theitaliancaffe.co.uk