After a long day at work on a dreich Glasgow Tuesday I needed a pick-me-up which came in the form of a trip to La Lanterna for dinner. I must admit, I had been looking forward to it all day as I’d never actually been before but had heard lots of very good things.
For those who don’t know, La Lanterna is the oldest Italian restaurant in Glasgow and has become somewhat of an institution among foodies in the city. When I arrived the first thing to hit me was the amazing smell coming from the kitchen! I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was, but I immediately knew that I was in safe hands. I was greeted by a friendly Italian waiter who led me through the restaurant to my table. I was very impressed by the look and feel of the restaurant, it’s like a little piece of Italy in the heart of Glasgow, and the atmosphere was very warm, friendly and non-pretentious. If I was blind folded and didn’t know the name of the restaurant, I’m still confident that I would have known it was an Italian.
When I sat down at the table, I immediately noticed how busy the restaurant was – especially for a Thursday at six o’clock. From what I could see there were no spare tables, another good sign! After a couple of minutes, the waitress came over to give us the menus and took our drinks order, I went for a pint Menebrea and my other half went for a glass of prosecco.
I was really impressed with the overall menu, as there was a huge amount of lovely authentic Italian dishes to choose from, and a few seasonal specials that sounded absolutely delicious. To start I went for the ‘Arancini di Riso’, mixed fried rice balls filled with spinach & mozzarella and beef ragu with a sweet pepper dip.
For my main I had the veal Milanese & pasta, breaded veal with spaghetti Napoli… simple, delicious and comforting…. exactly what the doctor ordered. It was so good that I have since attempted to make it in my own kitchen (I wasn’t quite able to achieve the same results).
My other half went for the Bruschetta Caprese to start which consisted of crusty bread topped with marinated tomatoes & basil in virgin oil with fresh mozzarella, I was lucky enough to get a bite and can confirm that it was a deliciously fresh and zingy starter. For main she had the Italian sausage risotto which she also really enjoyed.
We were quite full at the end of the meal, so decided to share a tiramisu. I’ve always used tiramisu as a sort of barometer to gauge the quality of an Italian restaurant, and I can confirm that this one was one of the best I’ve ever tried. I’ve been craving it ever since.
Overall my visit to La Lanterna was an extremely enjoyable evening with lots of good food and friendly Italian hospitality. I felt very spoiled and I would go back in a heartbeat (in fact I have plans to go back in January).