This restaurant has ceased trading.
- Telephone 0141 334 0111
- Food served Tue–Thu 10am–3pm, 5pm–10pm; Fri–Sun noon–10.30pm. Closed Mon
- Pre-theatre times Fri–Sun noon–6.30pm; Tue–Thu 5pm–10pm
- Average price £14.95 (set lunch); £22 (evening meal)
- Pre-theatre price £10.95
- Website www.lafamigliarestaurant.co.uk
A five-minute walk from Great Western Road, through the leafy suburbs of Kelvindale, takes you to this little hideaway in a row of shops on Cleveden Road. The modest shop front and calm leather and cream interiors belie a passionate beating heart of a kitchen sporting a chef with some serious ambition. A modern twist on old favourites is what La Famiglia does best, with the accent on bright flavours and creative flourishes. The small and manageable menu allows for seasonal changes and a focus on the fine detail, prime ingredients and maximum flavour that is evident in every dish. To start pan-fried scallops are served on a bed of pearly Israeli couscous sparkling with lemon zest and dabbed with fresh beetroot purée that bring sharp edges to the creamy dish, while a main of poached pork belly is sweet and brackish from its stew of soft red peppers, onions and crisp pancetta rounded off by a reassuringly expensive sweet balsamic. Puddings include five flavours of ice cream and sorbets made in the kitchen. Chef Nico Simeone honed his techniques in the kitchens of mentors such as Brian Maule and Craig Sandle, gathering awards along the way. The only thing testing his wisdom is choice of location. Time will tell if Glasgow foodies will move (ever so) slightly out their comfort zones. A very pleasant surprise awaits all who do.
The status of Nico Simeone, head-chef and proprietor at La Famiglia, is such that the restaurant’s entrance on Cleveden Road bears his name. Add to this the fact Nico’s 2009 award for Young Seafood Chef of the Year sits proudly within the restaurant’s stylish interior, there is very little for the food to hide behind. This self-belief is, on the whole, merited, with La Famiglia combining traditional Italian flavours in a contemporary manner. That said, mains, which number six in total, also lean towards classic French cuisine with a bavette of beef, sitting alongside oxtail ravioli, celeriac puree and creamed savoy cabbage. Corn-fed chicken is elevated with the addition of a technically impressive rolled and stuffed leg. Scrabster monkfish cheeks are paired brilliantly with a saffron and fennel purée. Baked west coast scallops are the only low-point of an otherwise innovative and refined menu, being somewhat over complicated by orange segments and sliced apple. Family snapshots provide a sense of romanticism and heritage to the restaurant’s modern setting, tying in neatly with the ethos of fusing the traditional and contemporary.
- High point: Imaginative and flavoursome cooking
- Low point: Limited choice for veggies
- Provides: Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu
- Music on stereo: Mainstream pop/rock
- Capacity: 44
- Largest group: 55
- Open since: 2011
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 8
- House wine: £15 per bottle