On Saturday night we were excited to attend the launch of Zizzi Ristorante in Royal Exchange Square. In the space that was previously occupied by Borders (facing GoMA), I was really interested to see what they’d done with the space. If you remember way back to nearly the start of this blog, we went to the launch of Zizzi in the west end and were delighted to be a part of the opening night.
We were greeted by pipers, a glass of prosecco and a photographer, so we knew we were in for an eventful night! The space is really beautiful – my memories of what it was like as Borders have faded but they have made great use of the space by lots of interesting artwork (again, supplied by graduates of the Glasgow School of Art) and contrasting colours.
The first part of the night we spent milling around, checking out the decor, menu and listening to some great music provided by The Jack Dames. We were then seated and treated to a three course meal sampling the new menu. The starter was a beautiful antipasti platter with calamari, arancini, garlic bread, tomato bread, olives and prosciutto. I love an antipasti platter and I particularly liked this one because it was really well balanced so there was perfect portions to split between two people (nothing worse than fighting over the last arancini!).
For mains we had the pollo proscuitto – chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto, and cassareccia pollo piccante. I really enjoyed my main (I had the chicken breast) – it came with a white wine sauce that went really well with the sides.
I hadn’t tried cassareccia pasta before and really enjoyed it as it was a bit unusual – and we even got a bag to take home in our goody bag! The chilli on top meant you could control the level of spiciness to your taste buds – a great idea, and I though this looked great by adding a nice splash of colour to the plate. It was offset nicely with a creamy sauce.
Then it was time for the trio of desserts:
If I had to pick a favourite, I think I’d go for the tiramisu. I thought this was just perfect! The lemon tart had an awesome punch of lemon with the right amount of sweetness and the chocolate torte was rich and decadent. I think the trio is the perfect way to finish a meal and I wish that it was an option on the dessert menu! I would also love to try the sorbet next time we visit.
We had a really fun night on Saturday night. It was definitely a party, celebratory atmosphere and all the staff seemed excited to be there for the launch. I’m a big fan of Zizzi’s for its consistency and delicious food, and the meal didn’t disappoint. This restaurant seems like it might be marketing itself towards a more business clientèle – although time will tell how it goes. We’ll definitely be back after our trip to Australia!
The restaurant officially opens today, Monday 11 February 2013! Thanks to Zizzi for inviting us along.
The artwork upstairs is a lovely tribute to the former Borders with book covers from Scottish authors – I really loved this (so excuse all the pictures!):