ALL this week, the Evening Times is featuring the six contenders for the title of Glasgow’s Favourite Business 2019. The award, sponsored by this paper, is part of the Glasgow Business Awards, organised by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and with Royal Bank of Scotland as the main sponsor. The awards will be presented at a black-tie dinner at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel on October 3.

We’ll present the last of our six nominees tomorror and let you know how you can cast your vote.

READ MORE:Is Scotland's airline your favourite business?

IF there’s one thing that Giovanna Eusebi would like to achieve, it’s to underscore that fact that Italian cuisine is about far more than spaghetti Bolognese, carbonara and garlic bread.

“That’s a mindset that we have tried to get Glasgow people out of,” says Giovanna, who owns the popular Italian restaurant, Eusebi Deli on Park Road in Glasgow’s West End, and whose grandparents were farmers in southern Italy. She points out that in Italy, carbonara is only ever eaten in Rome, while tagliatelle Bolognese is only eaten in Bologna.

“Italian cuisine is without doubt one of the most diverse in the world,” she says. “In the south, there’s sunshine and you can taste the sunshine in the tomatoes. And then you’ve got the north of Italy, and you’ve got the Alps, and you’ve got everything inbetween.

READ MORE:Is the Hydro your favourite business?

“Our menu changes seasonally to reflect the fresh ingredients available throughout the year,” she adds. “The menu changes four times a year, it’s like a brand-new opening each time.

“It’s a massive challenge - we have 45 staff in the place now, between the bakery, the back-of-house, the kitchen, the front-of-house and the restaurant and the deli team, but it is worth it when it all comes together.”

Giovanna herself is a frequent visitor to Italy, visiting different regions and seeking inspirational new ideas in food and wine.

Eusebi Deli has come a long way from its beginnings in Shettleston, some four decades ago. It was hugely popular there, and in 2015 Giovanna relocated to the West End, adding a restaurant to the original deli offering.

The current menu offers breakfast, weekday and weekend brunches, and evening meals. The weekday brunch selection includes various small plates, from pork and chicken terrine to gin-cured red mullet, and snacks that range from oyster Parmigiana to pickled radish, anchovy butter and crostini.

The evening menu offers everything from small-plate antipasti to pasta dishes including seafood risotto and fettuccine with black truffle to various pizza Romana, as well as kitchen specials such as pork cheek, and selections of cured meat.

One of the signature dishes at the venue is pinsa, a traditional Roman flatbread so old that it actually pre-dates pizza itself. “The first time I ate it, it was just like eating air. It had a crisp, low-fat base and was oval in shape. It was light and airy and a pleasure to eat.” says Giovanna.

The pinsa – the dough is made from a blend of soybean, wheat, rice and sourdough – is served either bianca (white) or rosso (red): toppings range from the “contadina” – Parmesan cream, spinach, zucchini, aubergine and red onion, to the “Toscano” – tomato, mozzarella, Italian sausage, potato, onion and chilli.

At least one London-based food critic was impressed with the pinsa when she ventured north to sample it.

The deli offers freshly-made Italian dishes as well as imported pastas, wine, cheeses and meats.

Giovanna is delighted that the deli and restaurant have continued to thrive.

“We’ve turned our old East End shop into a bakery, and we’re making all of our cakes, focaccia and bread there. It’s lovely, because it has allowed us to put something back into the area where we were originally based.

“I think the restaurant is doing so well because it’s real. In this ‘fake world’ we’re living in, we’re a family-owned business, and that in itself has a lot of authenticity to it.

“Our hearts and souls are very much in the business, and you feel that when you come in.

“We’ve never sold out: we’ve always sourced the best produce from Scotland and Italy. We make everything from scratch every day.

“The bottom line for us is not money. The bottom line is that the food has to be really good.”

Giovanna and the team are delighted that the restaurant has been nominated for the award of Glasgow’s favourite business, not least because it is sponsored by the Evening Times.

“The Evening Times was my Dad’s paper every night,” she says. “He would walk down to the newsagents every night to buy it. So, there’s a wee bit of nostalgia for me in that.”