I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to write this review. Normally when I go out to try somewhere new I’m writing the blog post in my head before I even leave the restaurant, but for some reasons my first few trips to Tarantino’s just didn’t take and I kept forgetting to write up my review.
So when I recently paid my fourth visit there between Christmas and New Year I was a woman on a mission – this time for sure I was getting a review done, no if’s, no but’s, no maybe’s. Because this place is such a great little restaurant and something of an undiscovered gem in Finnieston packed and thriving food scene.
In fact despite being right next door to Glasgow hotspot Ox & Finch (where anyone who is anyone has been…many times) whenever I mention it to people no one knows it’s there.So I am on a bit of a campaign to change that because it’s so lovely and more people need to know about it.
The vibe at Tarantino’s is traditional and relaxed with a hint of romance. It’s quite a small restaurant but that for me just adds to the intimacy and cosy vibe that the place has, which I very much liked.
Staff wise they were friendly enough, but other than taking our orders we never really had any interaction with them. It was a busy night with a full restaurant, so that is to be expected I guess. My only slight niggle was that at the end of the night when we had to root around to find our own jackets because none of the staff were there to help, plus no one said anything to us as we left which I found a little bit off putting and awkward. These are small niggles tho, nothing massive just a wee bit of a let down.
Now let’s chat about the best part – the food! The menu at Tarintions is jampacked full of incredibly tempting dishes. So much so that I really struggled to pick dishes because I wanted to have everything, which is a great problem to have in a restaurant.
As I said I have been here before a few times so I decided to order the Parmigiana in Bianco to start, described as layers of aubergine & courgettes oven baked with Parmesan and Bechamel, which I have had before and really enjoyed. When it arrived I was on the verge of drooling on the table it looked so good, and I wasted no time in plunging right in despite it being red hot and scalding my tongue.
Sadly it didn’t live up to my last visit – it was completely tasteless. It was so bland in fact that I had to add salt and pepper which I virtually never do in restaurants. The sauce was really really watery and just had no flavour at all, which is such a shame because previously I loved it so much.
However, having had this before and loving it I am prepared to put this one down to just a little bit of bad luck – it certainly wouldn’t put me off ordering it again in the hope that this was just a one off, since it is the only thing I have been served in this restaurant that I haven’t really enjoyed.
Okay so it wasn’t a great start, but I had full confidence that my main dish of Tagliatelle Amatriciana would save the day, and boy was I right. When the MASSIVE plate of smoked Italian pancetta tossed with red onions, asparagus, white wine and homemade tomato sauce was placed in front of me I nearly died of sheer happiness. It looked wonderful and the good news is it tasted even better.
The tagliatelle was served al dente and still held just enough bite, the sauce was the perfect blend of juicy tart tomato, tangy red onion and smokiness from the pancetta. It was a fantastic plate of pasta, and I will definitely have the dish next time I visit because it was just gorgeous.
I have to also mention the most delicious chips which we had as a side – I have no idea what they do these babies but the were perfectly fluffy on the inside, and golden and crisp on the outside – they were SOOOOOO good. So much so that I virtually finished the side single handedly….oops….#sorrynotsorry
For dessert I went for my standard Tarantino’s order of the made in house cheesecake, which was Pistachio and Chocolate the night we visited. Lordy! Lordy! Lordy! It was a creamy sensation.
I would say that I never really got the taste of pistachio in the cheesecake but I honestly couldn’t care less. The biscuit base was gorgeously thick and buttery, and the topping was light and decadently creamy. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish the generous portion after my mega plate of pasta, and it actually broke my heart a little to send some of it back. But I thought it was a bit on the ridiculous side to ask them to wrap up about a 1 inch square piece of cheesecake to take home.
Price wise Tarantino’s sits alongside most Italian restaurants in Glasgow. With my meal excluding drinks coming in at £28.80 which I think isn’t too bad for a tasty 3 course Italian meal. I know I didn’t really enjoy my starter, but having had this dish before I am going to just chalk it up to a one off bad dish, and would still say that this restaurant is pretty great value for money
I always enjoy visiting Tarantino’s, this wasn’t my first visit and I am 100% sure that it won’t be my last. If you enjoy authentic Italian food in a lovely atmosphere it is definitely worth checking out.