You know that feeling when you’re sitting in a restaurant and the dish you’ve ordered is put in front of you ... but you really like the look of what someone else has been served up.
Now the food on your plate may be perfect. But there’s just something about that other dish that looks appealing. Couple this with them saying how good it is and you can be left feeling that you’re missing out.
Which probably goes some of the way to explain the growth in buffet and tapas restaurants. Now buffets are fine and the variety option means there is always something to try, but there is always the thought that it might have been prepared and kept warm for some time.
Tapas are a different story. Small plates of food just large enough to share, giving you a tasty bite before moving on to another gastronomic delight.
Spanish in origin, the concept has been picked up by other Mediterranean cultures which are now embracing the idea. Mix tapas with my favourite Italian food and you have Pesto, a small but growing chain of restaurants.
They call their dishes piattini which quite simply means small plate in Italian. But be assured they are big on flavour, mixing top quality ingredients.
My trip to Pesto in Glasgow was prompted by my son’s rave review and, for once, I have to admit he was right!
We didn’t have a booking and despite the restaurant being very busy, they found us a table within minutes.
Only problem then was what to choose. Even given that the suggestion is three piattini per person the menu is huge – and most are priced at a very reasonable £3.95.
We plumped for a very tasty pizzette with goats cheese, caramalised red onion, garlic and spinach. You know those small pizzas you get in the supermarket, well this was nothing like that!
Chicken thighs stuffed with Parma ham and mozzarella; risotto with spicy Italian sausage; pasta with salmon, asparagus and cream; tagliatelle with mushrooms and cream; and linguine pasta baked in parchment with king prawns, wine, chilli, and tomato were also ordered, each one tastier than the last.
You can choose to have them delivered at different times or do what we did and get them all at once – although it did leave the table groaning.
My only criticism of the whole experience was being presented with the bill before we asked for it, but that didn’t spoil a great meal.
With so many choices on the menu, it’s a great excuse for another visit.