“YOU know, doll, in all these years of sleuthing, there’s something I’ve never done. I intend to change that today.”

“Oh! Part of me is excited and part of me a little scared, Tec.”

“Don’t be scared, my dear,” I said pulling on the handbrake of the Buick. “It’ll be fine. I just need to arrest your attention at this fine place. The Citizen.”

“Oh! A Citizen’s arrest! And I’m your first. How exciting!”

We made our way in, a return visit for a pre-Christmas special at this haven of hacks and more in the city centre.

Mine host couldn’t have greeted us more warmly and once seated in the soft-lit corner, presented us with drinks of delight.

“Oh, Tec! You read my mind.”

“We’re back at The Citizen, sweetheart, so a glass of fizz must be the perfect way to start,”

This glass was not just any old fizz, it is a method-aged Cava that is crisp and slight and has just a hint of being toasted.

“Slàinte mhath, Toots!” We both laughed merrily as we soaked up the atmosphere of The Citizen.

Named in honour of the fabled Glasgow newspaper, The Evening Citizen, this charming hostelry has scooped its rivals with a live feed of Tennent’s lager direct from the Wellpark Brewery in Duke Street.

And it has a pre-theatre menu that mesmerises the soul and teases the tastebuds.

Where else would serve Eggs Benedict as a starter in the evening? “That’s for me, Tec!” said the tall droll Moll who still looked tall sitting at the table.

And so it was. A perfectly poached egg sitting on ham, drizzled with the finest Hollandaise and nestled on toasted sourdough.

While I envied her dish, I gave a wry smile as my Drunken Prawns lay before me. Sautéed with chilli and coriander alongside a light whisky-butter sauce and served with my favourite crusty bread, this was a starter for 10 and no sign of Bamber Gascoigne.

“You’re dreaming, Tec,” said Toots.

“Only of you, my dear and I have ordered a wine from overseas that makes me think of you with a smile.”

“Oh, that’s fancy. Is it Eldorado?”

“No, my finest, it is a special blend of Muscat and Chenin-Blanc from the African Cape. It has crispness and zing …”

“Just like me, Tec. Sounds a little fruity!”

And indeed, Angel Tears retains the plumpness of the grape in its glass and flourishes, just like Glasgow, from first sight.

Toots selected The Citizen Burger in a Brioche bun. It’s a handsome lad of 100% Scottish beef dressed with lettuce, dill pickle and a charming thousand island dressing. And chips.

“The chips don’t really matter that much,” said Toots. “But they’re pure Heaven! Love it!”

I chose mash to sit alongside my chicken, leek and bacon pie. The Arran mustard cream collided beautifully with the buttery puff pastry. The filling was moist, tender and sumptuous.

“Oh, you look pure chuffed with your puff!” said Toots, giggling.

Indeed I was. I was happy all round.

Dining out again at The Citizen, a perfect place pre-theatre as we raise the curtain on the Christmas season.

“And you’re with me, Tec! Remember, I can read your mind. I know everything you’re thinking!”

As I smiled back and clinked her glass, I was glad she couldn’t really read my mind.

I pondered. Perhaps I should help her out and just tell her what a special night it is. Then again, perhaps not.

“Until the next time, Tec!”

“Oh, yes, Toots. The next time.”

The Citizen

24 St Vincent Place

Glasgow G1 2EU

Tel: 0141 222 2909

Our meal is two courses for £13.95 each

Eggs Benedict

Drunken Prawns

Citizen Burger

Chicken, Leek and Bacon Pie


Vilarnau Cava Brut NV Gaudi £5.95 each

Angels Tears, Muscat-Chenin Blanc £21.95

TOTAL £61.75


Food: ****

Atmosphere: ****

Service: ****

Value: ****