La Fiorentina, Glasgow

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La Fiorentina, Glasgow

Italian Restaurant - Address: 2 Paisley Road West, Glasgow G51 1LE

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Review of "La Fiorentina, Glasgow"

published 11/11/2015 | xKatieeex
Member since : 13/01/2009
Reviews : 138
Members who trust : 44
About me :
Excellent
Pro Food, service, location
Cons Toilets & accessibility
exceptional
Value for Money
Standard of Menu
Atmosphere
Standard of Service
Cleanliness

"La Fiorentina"

It was my dad's 70th birthday and as a family tradition, we would always go see a movie - generally James Bond if there was a new one coming out - and then go for dinner. We went to see the new James Bond at the Glasgow Quay and needed somewhere close by for dinner due to my mum not being great at walking distances. Glasgow Quay's offerings are limited with various fast food options like Nandos or Frankie&Benny's, nothing special or anywhere my dad would actually like to go. My brother suggested La Fiorentina; a well known Italian restaurant, extremely close to The Quay on Paisley Road West. I had heard of La Fiorentina before, it's been around since 1989 and is a total Glasgow institution. None of us had ever been before, but the good reviews we'd heard from others were enough to make us book a table for my dad's special birthday.

Location

We walked from the Odeon at The Quay along to the restaurant, there's a wee gap between the Odeon building and the Ibis/carpark next to it which takes you out onto Paisley Road West. This saves a lot of times as otherwise, you'd need to walk right down to the entrance of Glasgow Quay which is at the other end and walk all the way around the outside of The Quay - which is what I did, in the torrential rain before I realised there was a passageway. The quick, passageway walk takes around 5 minutes.

I think Glasgow Quay would be the best place to park if you were wanting to visiting La Fiorentina. It's free parking, but can get busy sometimes so you might need to park near the entrance which would increase your walk a bit, but only by another 5 minutes or so.

It's also extremely close to the SSE Hydro, 16 minutes walk according to Google maps. If you were ever in town for a gig, this would be a great place to come for dinner beforehand. Or if you were at the SECC for an event, it would be a nice restaurant for afterwards.

I've passed La Fiorentina many times and have always fancied going in. The outside is very tasteful looking, with gold lettering on a dark, plain background. There are windows all around the outside, but they never seem to have the blinds opened. It makes it seem very private and in its own wee world.

Venue

Inside, it is not as plain and tasteful as the outside would suggest. I was expecting an array of tables in an open dining room with clean, simple decor. This was not the case, the restaurant seems split into different sections and there's a lot of stuff on the walls, I think relating to different Italian beers and whatnot. There are plants, a lot of wood, stained glass and statues dotted about the place. I'll admit, I was a little worried if this was the right choice for my dad's 70th birthday when I first walked in. After being there though, I love it. The decor really suits the place and if it changed into one of those bland restaurants lacking any real identity that I usually go for, it wouldn't have the same charm.

Due to the restaurant being split up into different areas, there isn't a lot of space. When we were waiting on our table, there was a lady with a pram trying to navigate around the restaurant and could barely fit through with it. There's no waiting area, so everyone crowds round the very limited space just at the door and you're all trying to Tetris yourself in so you can all fit.

The restaurant seems enormous on the outside, wrapping itself around the corner of a building, but it seemed tiny once you got in. I only saw one side of the restaurant though, so maybe the other side was a lot bigger. There is a private dining room so there must be more to it than I saw and I didn't have any need to nosey around the other side. I'll just need to go again to view more of the place!


Menu

They have a whole host of different menus; Christmas, Chef's Weekend, A La Carte, Clean Plate Kids, Chefs Big Deal, Take Away, Sunday Roast, 4 Business Lunch menus and 4 Tea Time menus. We had the A La Carte menu, so I'll just give details of that. There's more information about the others on their website and I noticed a lot of good deals available on some of them.

Starters

We have the usual suspects of Funghi Ripieni, Mozarella Milanese, etc and then some unusual dishes such as Haggis Toscano which is a very Italian dish of toast with haggis and a poached egg on top with crispy bacon strips. There's a good selection of bruschetta and focaccia too which could be a starter or a side. There's also Minestrone soup or soup of the day.

Mains

You can choose from beef/chicken burgers, risotto, pizza, pasta, fish, salads, beef, chicken and veal.

Vegetarians might have a hard time here as there are only around 7/8 vegetarian options to choose from and as a recovered vegetarian, I can say from experience that although they are nicely marked with a wee 'V' next to the dish, a whole vegetarian section is much better. It is so annoying to have to trawl the menu for a little 'V' to find out what you can have.

Otherwise, there's are plenty of good choices for meat eaters. Again, they have a lot of what we think of as traditional Italian food, but then a few Scottish twists thrown in too such as the wonderfully named Pizza Braveheart which has the perfect toppings of haggis and bacon.

Desserts

Ice cream, tiramisu, eton mess, chocolate fudge cake and more, your dreams will come true here! There's also a selection of teas and coffees.

I didn't really look at the dessert menu properly because I had previously brought in a birthday cake (remember when I walked along in the pouring rain?) so was just trying to waste time until they surprised my dad with that. There was a wee glass fridge cabinet thingy when you walk in the restaurant which had a selection of desserts and I did see that ice cream that has chocolate poured over it. It looks lovely.

The Food

It was delicious.

For starters, I had Insalata Caprese Tricolour which is basically some tomato, some mozarella, basil and a balsamic dressing. I get this any time I see it on the menu. It was lovely and fresh and a good portion size. My mum got Funghi Ripiene which was three massive mushrooms with ham, cheese, onions and herbs all fried in breadcrumbs - this is what my mum goes for whenever she sees it on the menu. She really enjoyed them, but thought the portion size was a bit big as you usually just get 4/5 little mushrooms at most when you get breaded mushrooms. My dad went for Antipasto Del Casale which was a selection of Italian meats, mozzarella and some bread. Again, he really enjoyed it, but I think the portion size was a bit big as he kept pawning his food off onto us. My brother loves haggis, so it's only natural he chose Haggis Tosacano. He's the human dustbin, so his portion size was perfect for him. He loved this Italian delicacy and would definitely get it again.

For mains, my mum and I each choose Cotoletta Alla Milanese which was a pan-fried, veal escalope in breadcrumbs served with pasta al Pomodoro. I've never had veal before, but it was beautiful. The veal was seasoned perfectly and came with a lemon so you could put some lemon juice over the veal. If it had been greasy due to being pan fried, this would have been perfect but the veal was perfectly cooked so the lemon was just a nice accompaniment. The spaghetti with tomato sauce was lovely too, wonderful soft and sweet. It had nice cooked, bursting tomatoes through it. The veal escalope was massive and I could really have done without a starter and my dad's antipasto that kept appearing on my plate. My brother chose Pollo al Pepe Verde which was chicken supreme cooked in green and black peppercorn sauce served with salad and fries. He loved it, but even the human dustbin couldn't finish his meal. There were fries left over, very unusual for my sibling. My dad chose Pizza Goodfella all because it had spicy Italian sausage on it which is his new love as he's found a place in Glasgow where you can buy it and now everytime he gets it in a restaurant, he says 'I get it from the same place as them'. He loved his pizza, but couldn't finish it - probably because my mum kept giving him bits of her veal. I tried a bit of the Italian sausage and it was too spicy for me, but the rest of my family liked it.

For dessert, we had some of the secret surprise Birthday cake that I had bought my dad from Tesco. They served it with some lovely cream and ice cream for us though, which was delicious.

Service

The service was impeccable from start to finish.

I first emailed them to book a table and requested to bring in a cake beforehand so we could surprise my dad with it. They replied promptly confirming the reservation, as well as thanking us for celebrating my dad's 70th with them and they'd be more than happy for us to bring in a cake. When I trundled along in the rain to give them the cake, they were so helpful, gladly taking it. They knew all about the birthday without having to look at the reservation book, it made me feel like they had taken an interest in our booking.There was one lady in particular who was absolutely outstanding - a total credit to the restaurant. She had blonde hair and that's all I know about her as I didn't catch her name.

We'd arrived 10 minutes early for our reservation, but they wasted no time in getting our table ready for us. The staff were attentive, friendly and seemed to enjoy serving customers, always full of laughs. Our food was brought to us without having to wait too long, but not so quick that you'd worry about how much of it was actually cooked for you. They cleared our plates quickly and efficiently, as well as offering drink top ups when they noticed our glasses getting a little empty.

When it came to surprising my dad with the birthday cake, all the servers in the restaurant came up and sang Happy Birthday to him. They didn't know his name, but the lovely blonde lady sang 'dad' along with us. It was so nice that they made my dad's birthday a a great, fun time and got involved making it extra special. They took pictures for us and had a laugh with my dad poking fun at how old he was.

I think the reason La Fiorentina has lasted so long in Glasgow is no doubt the food, but also the fantastic service. The staff totally made our night.

Prices

Our bill was £110 for four people and that was two courses each, two cokes, four glasses of wine and a coffee. I was driving, so I was on the water sadly! I'd say that was pretty reasonable for the standard of food and service we got. If you're not wanting to spend as much as that, I would say that one course is plenty so you could cut down that way or there are plenty of deals on that would get the cost down.

I would happily pay that again as we had such a great night and the food really was delicious. My mum and I went for quite an expensive main compared to the rest of the menu too.

Facilities

The toilets are a bit of a let down after how much I've raved about this restaurant. They look a bit run down and in need of some TLC. The door on the toilets didn't shut properly and the lock didn't really work. There was plenty of soap and paper roll to dry your hands, but the electric hand drier didn't work.

If you're in a wheelchair, you'd finding it extremely difficult to get around the restaurant. I'd phone ahead to see if they could make any arrangements to help you get around.

Overall

La Fiorentina is a fantastic restaurant and I'm sorry I didn't come here sooner. My whole family said they would definitely return as we had such a wonderful birthday dinner. The food, although on the large side, was beautiful. The service was outstanding, it was refreshing to have such friendly, attentive, fun-loving people serving you. They made a real effort to make my dad's birthday a great night, we had a very memorable night. I'm not going to knock a star off for facilities as I really like this restaurant and would recommend it to everybody. It would suit families, couples, friends and would be great for larger parties for a Christmas night out or a birthday. I will be back!

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This review was read 445 times and was rated at
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exceptional

Comments on this review

  • bettyboo47 published 25/11/2015
    beautifully done
  • Absinthe_Fairy published 17/11/2015
    Excellent review.
  • Gingerkitty published 15/11/2015
    Fab review x
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Product Information : La Fiorentina, Glasgow

Manufacturer's product description

Italian Restaurant - Address: 2 Paisley Road West, Glasgow G51 1LE

Product Details

Type: Italian Restaurant

City: Glasgow

Address: 2 Paisley Road West, Glasgow G51 1LE

Country: Scotland

Continent: Europe

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Listed on Ciao since: 11/11/2015