- Telephone 0141 204 2081
- Seasonal times Closed first week of January and first week of July
- Bar open Thu–Sat noon-midnight; Sun 12.30–10pm
- Food served Tue–Sat noon–3pm, 5–9.30pm; Sun noon–8.30pm Closed Mon
- Pre-theatre times Tue–Sat, 5pm–6.15pm
- Average price £15 (set lunch); £25 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £15
- Website www.thegannetgla.com
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This review is taken from the 2013 edition.
The slow burn of Finnieston's reputation on the eating and drinking scene has exploded over the last year or so. Indeed, the trend looks set to continue with whitewashed windows advertising future eating establishments, attracted both by rents a fraction of those on more illustrious thoroughfares and the opportunity to join the growing band of local dining attractions.
The Gannet is the latest to bolster the area's allure. And it's had quite a draw, with an extended wait (it took two niggling years to get the door open) meaning all manner of itching food critics, bloggers and culinary neophiles were through its door within days of opening, giving owner-chefs Peter McKenna and Ivan Stein little tweaking time. It is a sign of their skill, not just on the plate but in attitude and organisation, that their restaurant exceeds the hyperlinked hype.
Surprisingly informal for a place professing affordable fine dining, the Gannet is meatpacker meets engineer with elemental stone, brick, and wood dominating the front bar area and cosy mezzanine, while white walls light up the back room, industrial metal seemingly holding it all together.
Food is powerful and the best can be transportive. The Gannet's faultless, imaginative cooking with well-sourced Scottish ingredients produces moments that simply dissolve and disperse any baggage of hype or considerations of postcode and fashionable stylings.
Pigs' head croquettes are wonderful, mouthful-sized bombs of shredded meat that infuse one's own head with deep, savoury pork flavours and hints of apple, sharpened by a herby caper dressing, while the thin-skinned, crispy black pudding Scotch egg contains an oozing duck yolk. Pheasant risotto, with slow-cooked meat running through, topped by crisp-edged succulent slices is rich, creamy and addictive, elevated by a swirl of dark pan juices. A Speyside sirloin seems a little workaday by comparison, though perfectly cooked, crisp on the outside, pink-tinged inside, with an exemplary béarnaise sauce. Desserts are adept, a perfectly pastried pear tart, heavy with almond, is joined by top-quality homemade ice-cream.
The astute decision to close for two days a week means a happy hardcore of staff are there all the time producing the same quality and consistency whenever diners turn up - or manage to book a table.
- High point: Food that can resonate long in the mind
- Low point: Reasonable prices can occasionally balloon with specials
- Private dining: Up to 15 covers
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu
- Music on stereo: Chill-out/pop
- Capacity: 45
- Largest group: 50
- Open since: 2013
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 14
- House wine: £18 per bottle