40 Wilson Street, Glasgow, G1 1HD
  • Telephone 0141 559 6799
  • Bar open Mon–Sun 10am–midnight
  • Food served Mon–Sun 10am–10.30pm
  • Pre-theatre times Mon–Sun 4.30pm–7pm
  • Average price £15.95 (inc. house wine/coffee); £17 (evening meal)
  • Pre-theatre price £12.95
  • Email
  • Website
Eating & Drinking Guide

The 2015/16 edition of The List's Eating & Drinking Guide is out now – only £5.95 (+p&p).

This review is taken from the current (2015) edition.

Bastion of law and order for the best part of a century, this iconic former court building is a key landmark in the city’s cultural quarter. The first floor restaurant nestles behind the elevated portico, all twinkly-lit and inviting. For the best views, dine in style with a cocktail on the heated terrace. Otherwise inside it’s a less grand affair with lowered ceiling and shabby chic furnishings, incongruous even. A relaxed vibe from the downstairs taverna flows through the venue keeping it informal. Dine from breakfast, prix fixe lunch, bar or à la carte menus, which lean toward surf and turf using quality local ingredients. Flair and precision with flavour-texture combos is illustrated in the dish of seared scallops – imagine a spring garden of tender asparagus, dreamy pea and mint panacotta and swirls of earthiness from red beet purée connecting all elements. Marinated pork tenderloin doesn’t quite meet texture expectations but good flavour depth is evident. Next up is the highly recommended fresh catch of pollock, served on an aromatic bed of spiced green lentils and seasonal veg – damn, it’s good! Praise also to friendly staff that really do step up to the mark to optimise your dining experience.

  • High point: Catch of the day
  • Low point: Vegetarians may feel left out in the cold
  • Notable dish: Scallops with pea and mint panacotta, new season asparagus
  • Provides: Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Outdoor tables, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: iTunes mix changes daily
  • Live entertainment: Piano Fri 6–9pm Sun 3–6pm; Fri/Sat DJ
  • Capacity: 120
  • Largest group: 120
  • Open since: 2007
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 12
  • House wine: £16.95 per bottle

Comments & ratings

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7. john moore27 Nov 2015, 6:58pm1 star Citation Report

Four colleagues on a regular catch up decided to have a meal. It was Friday 27 November 2015 and we arrived 3.55pm. We were originally directed to the bar as the restaurant was still to open (4pm). Just as we were about to order we were asked to move to the restaurant. It has well over a 100 covers but as the first 4 to arrive we were directed to a 3 foot square table. Not ideal! When we asked to move to something bigger (e.g. put 2 tables together) we were told that the other tables were needed for later. It was 4pm and when we left at 5.45 there were another 10 people in the restaurant. Not over flowing! Thankfully one of the waitresses moved us to a bigger table. The food and service were great. As we left I decided to challenge the restaurant manager on his unreasonable behaviour. He kept me waiting in a quiet restaurant for around 10 minutes. Despite the obvious (10 people in a restaurant catering for over a 100) he decide to stick with his absurd line that he required the table for other diners arriving later and in any event he thought I specifically asked for 2 tables to be 'pulled together' for 4 diners. He hadn't though to offer another table despite our request. The restaurant manager is pathetic and if you go there you risk being put through his 'power trip'. Other than that the food and service are good.

6. E Solis6 Jul 2013, 1:12pm4 stars Citation Report

Food is always incredible! Lovely atmosphere, and the pre-theatre deals are amazing value.

5. Sparky2414 Mar 2013, 3:51pm3 stars Citation Report

Thoroughly mediocre.

4. PAISLEYSAINT5 Dec 2010, 2:03pm1 star Citation Report

I am sorry to be writing this about one of my favourite bar restaurants but the treatment my friends and I suffered at the hands of one of the managers has driven me to these strong words.

My friends and I gathered at the stylish Citation for something of a reunion - some had travelled from as far afield as Beijing, China to enjoy the surroundings and some fine food and drink.

We gathered around a large table comfortably sitting on a three- seater sofa and period style chairs. Apart from the dull coastal night scene painting hanging above our heads the decor lends itself to an air of sophistication and the tables and chairs are grouped together nicely.

Cosy? You would certainly think so except on an evening when outside temperatures had fallen below zero the staff insisted on keeping the outside door jammed open meaning every time a patron entered or left the premises a gust of super-chilled air blew straight in over us.

Pointing out our discomfort to one young manager we were told the door had to remain open so that people outside would know that the premises were open for business. On a Saturday afternoon in Glasgow City’s busy Merchant city I’d have thought that was a given but at least he was honest. Another more senior member of management then went onto tell me that the door had to remain open due to fire safety regulations – what a line!!
When I challenged this explanation he claimed that he had only suggested that might be the reason the doors were to remain open. He then accused me of man handling him because I touched his elbow as I leant towards him to make myself heard over the music in the bar!

Sadly the aforementioned manager saw fit to storm off leaving me standing in the middle of the floor without any hope of a compromise, just a sense of extreme dissatisfaction.

Needless to say we left Citation for the more welcoming confines of other establishments in the Merchant City.
As someone who spent years working in the licence trade and honing interpersonal and management skills I can only suggest that Citation is no longer instilling the old adage of ‘The customer is king’ in its managers but rather an attitude whereby if anyone legitimately and correctly complains they may be treated as pariahs and offered no assistance whatsoever.

Citation certainly seemed to be busy with plenty of customers. Maybe Citation doesn’t need my patronage and on the experience of my last visit there I am happy to oblige them, I won’t be back.

3. Moira7 Nov 2009, 12:21pm Report

Love this place. Been going since it opened. Not as busy as it used to be - maybe it's the recession. But this is a plus as it was always difficult to find a seat on Friday and Saturday nights. Especially nice in the summer when you can sit out on the upstairs terrace. Only downside is the DJ. He should play music for his clientele, not just the stuff he likes! Would still highly recommend it though. One of Glasgow's nicest venues.

2. annabanana7 Jun 2009, 5:23pm Report

Amazing decor and fantastic setting, day or night. Food reasonably priced and very tasty. Great for family or couple lunch/dinners. In the nice weather has a terraceon the 1st floor to enjoy a chilled wine overlooking the merchant city.

1. Gemma19 Jan 2009, 7:07pm4 stars Citation Report

Great venue in the merchant city. Place has got a great atmosphere during the day for lunch. Been in a few times and the food is good and a very nice relaxing atmosphere. Definately recommend anyone to drop in on the way past even for just one of their very good cocktails!!

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Average rating 2.5/5 from 5 reviews of Citation.

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