Ups : Down :
Zizzi in Glasgow is at the western end of Royal Exchange Square, a grand, architectually divine area which also houses the Cuninghame Mansion (now the Gallery of Modern Art).
The restaurant is set in the Square’s side of the old Royal Bank of Scotland building, designed by Archibald Elliot and built in 1827. To quote The Glasgow Story, “The exterior is in Greek style, and was linked to the buildings on either side by triumphal arches which allow pedestrian access to Buchanan Street”.
As far as a rich history goes, Glasgow has many amazing buildings like this. It’s a very lucky city.
Five of us, including two youngsters, went to Zizzi for an early dinner. First impressions, as you walk in, are of a light, grand, high space. We asked if we could sit upstairs to enjoy the view but were told that it was not open. The walls are darker but the high amount of windows allow a lot of light to get in.
Service was friendly and drinks were served quickly. Food order was also quite swift. The girls meal from the kids menus came with starters of Garlic Bread with Carrot & Cucumber Sticks. The grown ups shared Little Soul bread (doughy puffs) with Garlic Butter and Smoky Pepper Pesto dips. The Pepper Pesto tasted of paprika, and not much in the way of pepper. Everything else was as described.
The mains for the kids were a Margherita pizza with Ham and Penne Pasta with Pomodora Sauce.
The pizza, from the small bit that I was allowed to steal, tasted fresh, as did the pasta. The grown ups had Rustica Pollo Rosso Pizza, Emma had King Prawn Linguine and I had Italian Beef Short Rib.
The Pizza tasted lovely with fresh roasted peppers and delicious tomatoes. The Beef was sublime and tender, the tenderstem broccoli crunchy and the mash buttery. Maybe a little too buttery.
Emma described the king prawns as the best she’d ever had in a restaurant. High praise indeed!
I found the dessert menu to be a little restrictive. It could have had more variety – it was very chocolate heavy. I did reluctantly plump for the Chocolate & Blood Orange Cheesecake but, after a while, the waitress returned to say they didn’t have any left. I decided to skip it. Emma chose the Baked Lemon & Raspberry Cheesecake.
Rachel said it was the best baked cheesecake she’d ever eaten. It was fruity, creamy and nutty. A nice combo.
Zizzi reminds me a little of Gusto in that it’s a chain restaurant that provides a good standard of Italian food. The advantage of Zizzi is that the food has much more taste to it. (Gusto was a little bland).
I imagine we’ll be back and, hopefully, we’ll be allowed to sit upstairs!