People often ask which city is best – Glasgow or Edinburgh?
I probably favour Edinburgh because it was easier to get there for nights out a few waistbands ago. But Glasgow is becoming more appealing, not least for its attractive restaurants and I have to consider practicalities now – the compact city centre means less walking with formal shoes on.
In earlier years nights out simply meant a pub crawl and walking the length and breadth of Edinburgh wasn’t an issue. These days, however, I can’t be bothered with all that, while a night out also means a decent meal with drinks.
Celebrating a special occasion, my girlfriend and I booked into the Radisson Blu in Argyle Street, a short-ish walk from Amarone in Nelson Mandela Place where we had a booking after a spot of Christmas shopping.
I had heard good things about the place and Italian is my favourite food so the choice was easy enough.
The restaurant is smaller than I thought it would be and most of seating is on a raised level. It’s stylish and contemporary with lots of dark wood, shiny surfaces, light colours and was full to its minimalist brim with diners.
I wanted light food as we were planning on visiting a few more establishments later in the evening so I started with the scallops before tucking into a chicken and mushroom pizza.
The scallops are seared and wrapped in grilled pancetta with a sun dried tomato and chilli dressing. Scallops are all about the texture as the taste is somewhat subtle and Amarone’s offering were lovely and soft, complemented perfectly by the crispy ham and pungent dressing. There were four on the plate and I could easily have devoured more. I did think about it.
The pizza was almost how I like it, soft, thin, crispy where it should be, abundantly topped with the main ingredients and not too big a crust – I don’t eat crusts on any bread-based products. It was slightly dry though which means a little more tomato base wouldn’t go amiss.
Decent pizza, but that should be standard in any Italian restaurant worth its garlic salt.
Karen chose the tiger prawns which are sautéed with garlic, cherry tomatoes and fresh chilli with fillet steak for her main. Both were fine dishes I was assured. We didn’t do desserts.
Amarone is actually a dry red wine but the name always reminds me of the Dean Martin tune ‘That’s Amore’ - apt words for my feelings towards the scallops.