Broxburn Italian has all the tradition of the old country

If you like Italian food you'll love what's served up at Giannino's
If you like Italian food you'll love what's served up at Giannino's

When you meet your girlfriend’s parents for the first time it’s always nerve-wracking and you just hope to the Lord above that you don’t put your big foot in it – something I have become very adept at over the years.

Thankfully that experience has passed for me but our parents were yet to meet so we chose last Saturday to get this potentially awkward gathering out of the way.

The venue had to be right to put everyone at ease so a nice, safe Italian called Giannino’s in Karen’s home town of Broxburn was the perfect place.

It’s traditional and homely and very inviting from the outside. The place is usually always busy too which kind of gave us a ‘safety in numbers’ security in case things did go wrong.

The restaurant was indeed heaving on the night and thankfully everything went great and the auld yins got on like a house on fire – I think the wine and vodka helped there, the lovely pinot grigio certainly calmed me down to a mild panic.

For starters there were two bruschettas and three pates ordered. It’s funny that my mum and myself both chose the bruschetta while Karen and her mum and dad all ordered the pate.

Being such a simple dish, bruschetta is all about the extra little flavours that go in to it and the fresh basil and garlic gave it a nice little edge. I tried the pate too and was blown away by its taste and soft texture. This was one of the best pates I have had the pleasure of eating.

There was a mixture of main courses from my penne pasta to veal escalopes, carbonara,spaghetti with prawns in a tomato sauce and a calzone. Italian is my favourite food and I usually go for an accompaniment like Parma ham to go with it but this time I opted for chips.

A foodie faux pas perhaps, but I had heard the home-cooked Scottish favourite at Giannino’s were brilliant and I wasn’t disappointed. They were crisp, golden, light and very firm.

There’s nothing worse than a droopy chip. I didn’t even need ketchup or brown sauce, just a touch of salt.

The sauce for the penne was excellent, a perfect thickness with chillies for an extra kick of flavour which warmed up a basic Italian favourite.

Service is friendly and efficient in this cosy and intimate restaurant. We had a few little requests that were dealt with promptly and with no hassle.

There may not be that much in Broxburn to attract out-of-towners, but Giannino’s is certainly worth a visit.

Giannino’s Restaurant, 78-80 East Main Street, Broxburn, West Lothian EH52 5EG, telephone (01506) 856667