Zizzi Glasgow West End
We were really excited to be invited to the opening event at Zizzi in Glasgow's West End on Friday night, Tela Vuota.
It was an amazing and magical night with artists painting the restaurant while we enjoyed some delicious food. When we first arrived, the restaurant was (almost) stark white on the walls, and throughout the night we watched some fantastically talented artists bring the restaurant to life through paint. (We took so many photos of the art that I think it is only fair to dedicate a whole separate post to it). We were handed olives and prosecco and allowed to roam and enjoy the restaurant before sitting down to eat. A few pictures from early in the night:
Chefs hard at work making pizza
The beautiful restaurant space - really bright and airy, even on a (typically) overcast Glasgow day.
What we ate (note: we ate a lot)
Garlic bread with cheese
- freshly baked pizza bread with garlic and mozzarella served with caramelised balsamic onions £4.65
This was so delicious, I've never had a garlic bread like this before as the caramelised onions gave it a whole different taste. They were sweet and juicy and set off the saltiness and tang of the garlic and cheese perfectly.
- proscuitto crudo, salami Romana, coppa, smoked mountain ham, sunblush tomatoes and olives (note: the platter was not served with a pip on it, I was just a tad over eager with eating before photographing!) as well as buffalo mozzarella - £10.25 for two people
A generous antipasto platter, all the meats were delicious and the cheese was so moreish, I could have kept eating it for the rest of the night - cheese is always my weakness.
Rigatoni con pollo e funghi
- pan-roasted chicken, simmered in a deep tomato sauce with onions, mushrooms and rosemary - £8.75
A very rich flavoured pasta with a rustic meaty sauce which we both really loved. The pasta was cooked more al dente than we do at home but it was not a negative. The chicken was well cooked and the rosemary made a strong impact.
Pollo al limone con spinici
- pan-fried chicken fillet braised in white wine and a touch of lemon juice. Served with wilted spinach, pine nuts, a wedge of lemon and a hot pot of sliced potatoes oven-baked with red onion and sunblush tomatoes - £11.95
This was really, really lovely. I have never tasted braised chicken that tastes like this and I would love to try braising chicken at home if this is how good it can taste. It was so tender and juicy that it fell apart in my mouth. At first it was almost a weird sensation! But in a great way. The side of the baked potatoes was so generous that it easily could have been a side for two people. It was really tasty with a nice added zing from the red onion and tomatoes.
- fresh rocket dressed with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Grana Padano cheese - £3.95
I'm not one to order a side salad, but I do really love rocket. This was great and I will definitely make it at home. The main serving sizes at Zizzi are so generous though, I don't think you would actually need a side salad (unless you are feeling extra greedy, of course).
- a rich chocolate dessert with a soft, melting centre, served with vanilla mascarpone or ice cream - £4.95
A good mix of baked chocolate pudding but with a creamy chocolate explosion inside. For the chocoholic of the table, this was a menu highlight accompanied by a really high quality vanilla ice cream. Zizzi apparently have an in-house ice cream sourcer (not saucer!) who travels to Italy to find the best of the best ice cream and sorbet.
- creamy mascarpone cheesecake sweetened with Amaretti liqueur, served with a fruit compote and fresh mint - £4.85
By dessert, we were well stuffed. I really loved this cheesecake - the filling was soft and crumbly which the top and base were both crisp and crunchy which made for a lovely contrast. The fruit compote was tangy and went really well with the cheesecake.
From the moment we arrived at Zizzi until we left, we received excellent service and met some really friendly Zizzi staff. A notable mention to our waiter, Andy, who was funny and chatty throughout the night and helped us with our menu choices. This was a small event so undoubtedly we had wonderful service, and based on the high level of enthusiasm and excitement, I can't wait to see how this carries over to their usual service. We really look forward to returning to Zizzi as there was so many different dishes we are keen to try.
It was natural for us to compare this to the recently opened (and
) Jamie's Italian in George Square. They are both excellent restaurants with a high standard of food. The portion sizes at Jamie's however means that you really need to order a side (or two) with your main otherwise you may be left a little hungry. Some people may read the menu at Jamie's and not realise that sides are somewhat essential. Our meal at Zizzi however was a great portion size and would have left us very satisfied without any extra sides.
As mentioned above, a separate post is forthcoming with photos of the lovely artwork from the night!
The Glasgow Food Blog dined as guests of Zizzi Glasgow West End