MAMA Mia. Here we go again. A hearty plan for a rendezvous with one of Glasgow’s finest Italian restaurants, tucked away in plain sight.

Unpretentious, stylish, and always with a grand finish, Bella Fresca is, as the name itself says, nice and fresh.

“So, this is another of your favourites, Tec?” murmured the Moll as we parked up the Buick just outside the restaurant on Paisley Road West.

“It’s a big favourite, my dear," I replied.

“This joint opened back in 1997 and it's never failed on fine food and drink.”

“I’ll have plenty of that,” sniggered my sultry partner as she shimmied through the door.

Bella Fresca, or, to give it its Sunday name, Bella Fresca Authentic Italian Delicatessen and Cafe Bistro, has an eye-watering offering. And if you don’t see what you want, they have always created that something extra special just for you.

For it is here, the team is as sharp as its food and wine and they never forget Il cliente viene prima di tutto. The customer comes first.

“Let’s start with a Chianti,” I suggested, as we perused the menu.

Off sprang the host to collect the vino as the tall, droll Moll winked at me and asked how it would taste.

“Divine, rather like you,” I responded, remembering well my upbringing.

“Oh, my, Tec, that’s about the loveliest thing you’ve ever said to me.”

“And,” I continued, “It’ll be intense, smooth and long-lasting.”

“Stop it, Tec! I’m shivering!”

“No need to do that, Ma’am,” said the chap with our chianti. “He’s read that off the menu.”

My dearest ordered tiger prawns in an orange and Sambuca sauce to start, while I selected a handsome caprese salad of buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil.

“That looks lovely and refreshing, Tec.”

“It is, my dear, it really is.

“And your prawns look mighty fine.”

Thankfully, the hint worked and one of those tigers landed on my plate.

“Just to sample, just a taste,” she smiled. I was tempted to give a gentle tiger roar, just like I used to be fascinated by at Calderpark Zoo, but declined, due to my detective diplomacy.

The Moll’s eyes were momentarily caught by a passing diner. “No, don’t look, Tec. You’ll think she’s someone special, maybe even more special than me,” she pleaded.

“Now you know that just isn’t possible,” I smoothed.

Toots shimmered as she sipped on our specially selected vino, Pinot Grigio dell Frulli.

This is class. An aromatic fragrance with a straw finish, it is slightly fruity with a good body.

“Oooh, Tec! You’re at it again!”

“No, Ma’am, he’s reading the wine list again,” said our passing waiter.

The Moll chose a Manzo and the dish landed safely with sliced sirloin steak, roasted red pepper and rocket cooked in a splendid Napoli sauce with onion, carrot and celery, all finished perfectly with parmesan.

“Lovely,” said Toots. “And yours looks good too!”

Indeed it was. One of my savoured dishes: linguine with smoked salmon, peas, dill, white wine and a touch of cream. A generous touch, I’d say.

The atmosphere at Bella Fresca is friendly, warm and welcoming.

It’s a busy place but I’ve always found a table and delighted in its charm as an eaterie and deli.

It sits in a small parade of shops and has loyal local and citywide customers.

It seems like a nice neighbourhood to have bad habits in.

“Have you got any bad habits, Tec?”

“Only three.

“Fine food, wine and you.”

“Oh, Tec, I’m not really bad, you know.”

“I know that. But you can be wicked.”

Bella Fresca

2093 Paisley Rd W, Glasgow G52 3JH

Glasgow G52 3JK

0141 882 6995


Chianti San Sano £5.75 (each)

Pinot Grigio del Fulli £21


Gamberoni Diavola tiger prawns £6.25

Caprese salad £6.25

Linguini £7.95

Manzo £12.50




Food: 4/4

Atmosphere: 4/4

Service: 4/4

Value: 4/4