One of the newest additions to both Glasgow’s West End and 5pm is the Partners Italian Bistro on the Great Western Road. Formerly the site of Lux and Stazione, the handsome building has been taken over by Iain McMaster and Andrew Hull who already operate the successful Partners Bistro in Bearsden and Tattie Macs on Otago Street.
Their latest venture is already getting enthusiastic reviews from 5pm users and, independently, we also hear that their cocktails are worth shouting about.
On the other side of the country, Rucola Restaurant is a newbie for 5pm and Edinburgh city centre. During the day, it runs a cafe menu of sarnies, cooked breakfasts and light bites such as nachos, beef chilli and wedges or baked spuds with chicken curry. In the evenings, chef Dave Buchanan pulls out the stops and produces dishes such as corn-fed chicken breast with a basil mousse and ravioli of wild mushrooms with a tarragon sauce.
Edinburgh’s Brandon Terrace is in the process of becoming a little food hub as the just opened Moo Cafeteria joins nearby neighbours Circle Cafe, Coffee Angel and Dionika. It’s a cheery little place that dishes up lunches along the lines of a pork and chorizo cassoulet, steak and mushroom pies or pan-fried chicken breasts.
At the other end of town, Caffe Verde is finding its feet on Leven Street. Pasta, panini and salads are the mainstay of the menu along with some rather luscious desserts.
In Edinburgh’s Old Town, 5pm member Iggs has been showcasing the best bits of Spain’s cooking for a long time. However, it is shut on Sundays. Enter Barioja, Iggs’ funkier and younger next door brother. Usually Barioja goes big on tapas but on Sundays they add paella to the menu. Since they take the best part of an hour to prepare, regulars have been phoning up to book them in advance. Available for a minimum of two people, they cost a tenner a head and come in two versions: seafood or seafood and chicken.
Also, look out for the West Room which is due to open soon on the Melville Street site that formerly housed Halo. It’s a sister operation to the well established and rather cool duo of Sygn and Monteith.
Finally, congratulations to Edinburgh pizzeria, La Favorita. The Leith Walk restaurant has just become the first pizza joint in Scotland to be awarded an AA Rosette.
Boss Tony Crolla comments ‘I’ve always believed that being a pizzeria does not mean people should in some way expect basic food. We’ve sought to make La Favorita one of the most stylish restaurants you’ll find anywhere in Scotland – as well as ensuring it has no rival when it comes to pizza.’
As well as La Favorita, Tony also runs 5pm member Vittoria on Leith Walk.