Glasgow Times:

The Gannet 

We booked a table at The Gannet with one eye on the future. The circumstances of our collective exit from lockdown is in a state of flux. It could go in a number of different directions. While a reasonably relaxed and carefree afternoon in a sunny Finnieston, adhering to social distancing measures, is possible right now, there’s a sense of foreboding about the language being used to describe the months ahead. 

Glasgow Times:

The previous night, curfew had kicked in with this extended stretch of bars and restaurants closing their doors and depositing customers on Argyle Street for the stroke of 10pm. This week there’s gentle chat at Holyrood about the possibility of an October circuit-breaker return to full lockdown. All we can do is take the opportunity to enjoy the best of Glasgow while we can. The show must go on - and what a performance you get across the six course set menu at The Gannet.   

There’s more space around the tables and less of them available. The bar has been shortened and given a bit of a rustic makeover. You won’t notice that many other differences - masked staff come as standard these days and their appearance barely raises an eyebrow. The menu remains dominated by exceptional Scottish produce. If anything, the kitchen seems to have stepped things up a notch. 

Glasgow Times:

We started off with a well-balanced dish of west coast crab punctuated by slivers of parsnip and apple. Aged Taylor’s of Heatheryhall shorthorn beef carpaccio served with kohlrabi, smoked eel, potato is the current eye-catching signature dish on the menu. Then comes the double-hit of North Sea monkfish and celeriac in a seaweed butter sauce followed by saddle of Cairngorm red deer accompanied by beetroot, wild Argyll mushrooms and elderberry. That’s as close to an ideal selection of Scottish produce as you will find anywhere. A real triumph. 

Glasgow Times:

Special mention for the optional cheese course which is a frothy, light textured serving of Winslade with buckwheat. Plums are added to the dish, which we later find out were grown by kids from Woodside primary - a new definition for the buy local mantra. Dessert was an inspiring course of smoked chocolate with blackberry and sea buckthorn. The dishes rise to the occasion, combining with the wine pairings and the excellent service to provide a very happy distraction for a few hours. 

Kelvingrove Cafe 

Next door to The Gannet, you will find the Kelvingrove Cafe and an excellent Old Fashioned among the 14 classic cocktails listed on their menu. They reopened on Friday after closing for 190 days due to covid conditions and ongoing building work that added a new 240 sq ft dining room onto the back of the existing bar area. The new space features Versailles panel tables, pine green Spanish plaster walls and imported Italian terracotta floor tiles – as well as a huge Crittall steel-framed window, a new addition to the venue that floods the space in light. The bar and brasserie will now open for brunches and coffee, then continuing through to dinners and drinks.

Radisson Red 

The view from the Skybar at Radisson RED hotel takes in a sweep of landmarks along the river then the towers of the West End and Campsie hills in the distance. It’s worth it just to sit there for a while and enjoy the connection with wider Glasgow. There’s further reasons to visit since they relaunched their quirky afternoon tea offering, which comes with an added gin from Eden Mill.

Glasgow Times:

Picture perfect and intriguing, there’s familiar elements like a fruit scone with strawberry jam and Chantilly cream or a pork and apple sausage roll but then there’s also extravagant touches like mini Southern fried crispy chicken on a hot waffle with barbeque sauce and Asian style confit duck in plum sauce served in a bao bun. The smoked bacon and sweet maple doughnut and mini red velvet cake provide the sugar rush. Make sure to book a table by the window.

October Offers 

Whatever you might think of the wider implications of the Eat Out to Help out scheme, it did provide a much needed jolt of energy to a moribund hospitality industry. People booked more tables in August and that demand ebbed into September.

Facing a future where government support and intervention will be reined in, it’s now looking closer to a scenario where individual choices will decide what the footfall will land around town and what kind of a winter it will be for our favourite food and drink places. Some restaurants have decided to offer further deals and incentives to customers for October, including The Butchershop Grill, Glaschu, Meat Bar, Strip Joint and Cranachan. Check their websites for more details and keep in touch with the places that you value.