Roma Mediterranean Restaurant, Glasgow: Pizza and a glass of Pinot Grigio – the perfect pre-theatre treat
The idea of a Mediterranean cuisine originates with Elizabeth David’s A Book of Mediterranean Food (1950), who defines the region as “those blessed lands of sun and sea and olive trees” – a healthy diet rich in olive oil, fruit, vegetables, salads and seafood. Italian food is arguably the most popular cuisine enjoyed worldwide, characterised by its simplicity, fresh, quality, seasonal ingredients in such dishes as risotto, pizza and pasta.
On a visit to Glasgow recently to see Scottish Ballet at the Theatre Royal, I booked a table for an early supper at Roma Mediterranean Restaurant on Bath Street, a five minute stroll from Queen Street station and afterwards, just a short walk around the corner to the theatre.
Roma offers an enticing, set price, pre theatre menu, ideal before going to a matinee or an evening performance.
The well designed restaurant is so attractive, creating an authentic Italian ambience decorated in the national colours of red, green and white, glamorous lights and “ancient Rome” artefacts. Caricature models of a waiter and a chef placed at the entrance offer a warm welcome.
Comfortable seating from the row of tables for two at the window, to cosy booths and spacious banquettes around the side walls, ideal for drinks, lunch or dinner party with family and friends.
Settled into my booth like a vintage railway carriage, time to study the menu over a chilled glass of Prosecco. This is served as a mini bottle (200ml), Vino Spumante, the perfect aperitivo!
The cool Cocktail list features a Cosmo, the favourite of the “Sex and the City” girls, Vesper Martini, invented by Ian Fleming for James Bond – (gin, vodka, kina lillet, lemon peel) and house Roma Special– (vodka, peach schnapps, Amaretto, orange) and many more tempting tipples.
A wide choice of starters – Minestrone soup, Mussels in Beer, Crostini Caprino (garlic bread with peppers and goats cheese), and Aletti de Polo (chargrilled chicken wings)
I selected Gamberoni Fritti. These fat, juicy prawns covered in a thin crisp batter, just lightly sauted, were simply delicious, served with a red, green shredded cabbage salad. Unlike the ubiquitous coleslaw in mayo, the crispy cabbage was just drizzled with a herby vinaigrette.
By 5.30pm Roma was getting busy with other early diners, couples and friends meeting after work or shopping before going to the cinema or theatre. A buzzing atmosphere, as the music switched gradually from popular Italian tunes and romantic American songbook to orchestral versions of pop ballads. A well selected soundtrack which is more upbeat later on in the evening and at weekends.
On the Pre -Theatre menu, main courses include classic Lasagne al Forno, Pollo al Pepe, Risotto Funghi, Spaghetti Aglio Olio (Shrimp with garlic), Branzino com Gamberi, ( Seabass in a butter sauce), and carnivores will no doubt select the 9 oz Ribeye Steak with salad and chips. (just a small extra charge to set price).
Amo La Pizza! So what to choose as my topping on Pizza Margherita.? Salami, ham, spicy chicken, onions, courgette, aubergine, peppers, cheese. The Pizzaiolo (the Pizza chef) is extremely proud of his home-made, hand-baked pizzas, preparing the small round balls of dough, 24 hours in advance which are then chilled. Gluten-free dough is also available at Roma. Pizzas are made to order, rolling out the dough in a sprinkle of flour on a cold marble table top in the kitchen. Tomato sauce and creamy mozzarella plus your selection of toppings, before it is stone baked in the oven, at a temperature of 320 degrees Celsius.
For my Pizza Margherita, with peppers, courgette and aubergine, I add a special request that it has a soft base with no hard crunchy crust – into the hot oven and out again.!
As this is being hand crafted by the Pizzaiola, I sip a glass of Sicilian Pinot Grigio – a light, dry white wine with a citrusy tang. The wine list is very well priced, £4 to £5 or so a glass, and choice of bottles to share under £20. Many wines from Italy, of course, as well as South America, Spain and South Africa.
My pizza is out of the oven, perfectly baked to my preference – creamy melted mozzarella, with a scattering of healthy vegetables – I love the inventive touch of spicy paprika on the tomatoes. Already sliced for me, I was able to pick up and fold over a delicious soft, cheesey wedge and eat with my fingers.!
Desserts too for those with a sweet tooth – Tiramisu, Sticky toffee Pudding and Ice cream with perhaps a cappuccino or espresso to finish off a fine meal.
The pre-theatre menu (or indeed post-theatre menu after a matinee), is excellent value at 2 courses for £12.95 and 3 courses for £14.95, available seven days a week, from 12 pm to 7.30pm. You can expect a team of smiling, helpful staff, stylish setting, cool music, lively ambience, freshly made food and wide choice of drinks.
The Restaurant is open every day from 12pm to 12 midnight which is so convenient and flexible to call in for lunch, pre theatre meal, and a leisurely dinner late into the evening. Everyone is clearly welcome – couples, families, children, girls’ night out and party groups. Alternatively, call in for a glass of wine or cocktails – you do not need to order a meal if the restaurant is not busy at say, Aperitivo time, 5 – 7pm. Chin Chin!
No wonder Roma was selected as the winner of Glasgow’s best Italian Restaurant, 2018,
It is not too early to think about planning your Christmas celebrations and Roma is open for lunch and dinner serving a special festive menu from 18th November to 5th January, including Christmas Day.
“Roma honours tradition while creating unique, inspiring dishes. We hope that once you have arrived, you will feel it was well worth the journey.”
Yes indeed.! Whenever you plan to visit, you can expect an authentic Italian experience – design, hospitality, classic dishes and delicious wine, cocktails, spirits and beers.
Read on to see what other diners have to say!
We enjoyed our Penne Rustica and Tagliatelle with Shrimp and Asparagus. Nice selection of wine and beer.
Lunch at Roma before going to the theatre. Fantastic food, great service, reasonably priced.
Dinner with my family – the waiters were so polite and all the food was amazing. I recommend this place to everyone.
Roma Mediterranean Restaurant
46 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 1HG
Telephone: 0141 332 9641