Bo & Birdy
- Telephone 0141 240 1633
- Opening times Mon–Sun 12.30–2.30pm, 5.30–9.30pm.
- Bar open Mon–Sun 12.30–11pm.
- Food served Breakfast: Tue–Fri 7-10.30am; Sat-Mon 7–11am; Lunch: Mon–Fri 12.30-2.30pm; Sat/Sun 12.30–3pm; Dinner: Sun–Thu 5.30–9.30pm; Fri/Sat 5.30-10pm
- Website boandbirdy.com
Restaurant in the five-star Blythswood Hotel, with an informal-but-upscale brasserie vibe and a menu of Scottish produce.
When it opened in 2009, the Blythswood quickly became one of the best-known ‘boutique’ hotels in Glasgow — a must-go place for cocktails, and a market menu of impressive food for a good price in a great setting. Latterly it was perhaps most associated with spa days, weekend shopping breaks and couples’ getaways. Then, last year, it was acquired by the InterContinental Hotels Group as part of their high-end Kimpton brand. With that comes a rebrand and refurb that seeks to (re)maximise the potential of this gorgeous former RAC building looking onto the gardens of Blythswood Square
Upon entrance, both lavish expense and shift of direction are clear. The grand space still drifts from reception to dining area (in a way that’s curiously rare in Glasgow). But all eyes are now on a centrepiece marble bar that twinkles with glassware and cluster lights, energising the room while reinforcing its mixed drink pedigree. A concise menu of classics is executed with understated know-how. Think boozy blood orange sidecars garnished with a branded lemon, Old Fashioneds mixed in gigantic ice-bowls.
It’s the clearest indicator of where the £1 million refurbishment money has gone, but the whole space is looking slick. A palette of cream, bronze and earthy tones sets things up nicely for a dining experience which is considerably less formal. Heavyweight ingredients sing their Scottish provenance and tough verbs jostle — asparagus is ‘shaved’, scallions ‘burnt’, Jersey royals ‘charred’. Flavour combinations are well worn. Burrata and a pesto-esque drizzle get a salty kick by green olives; while in a ceviche-style dish, tender scallops are sliced thin and offset by strips of grapefruit. Not overly fancy, but fancy enough.
These are not starters, mind, but small plates. That’s the vibe. There are sharing plates of bone-in sirloin or monkfish. Of the larger dishes, St Bride’s chicken breast — nicely coloured and served with gnocchi, oyster mushrooms and spinach — is a lovely assemblage of savoury touches and quality. The £15 macaroni cheese is the only genuine disappointment, a dish that intrigues with its considerable price, then falls short with a thin sauce and crust that needs more crisp. So the execution isn’t always quite on-point, but the overall appeal of the place has certainly moved, with the times, in the right direction.
- Private dining: Up to 16 covers
- Provides: Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
- Capacity: 146
- Largest group: 20
- Open since: May 2019
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 10
- House wine: £26 per bottle