New from the chef behind Finnieston favourite Alchemilla, Gloriosa offers exciting and buzzy dishes with flashes of absolute brilliance
Eating at Gloriosa, the new restaurant from former Alchemilla head chef Rosie Healey, is a bit like going for dinner at an extremely knowledgeable pal’s flat. You show up, they throw out a bunch of interesting if occasionally difficult-to-parse suggestions, you smile and nod, and it turns out you were wrong to ever doubt them.
A couple of early dishes set the tone. First up, the marinated carrots (£2.50) – thick coins of veg smothered in a spicy, garlicky marinade – and then the bagna cauda (£6). It’s an Italian garlic and anchovy dip, into which you smash a piece of veg and head off on a brief but extremely savoury ride. Next up is a napkin-thin flatbread covered in goats cheese curd, honey, walnuts and thyme (£7). It’s a surprisingly earthy yet exceptionally light bit of food, and the cheese on top is the kind of creamy and smooth dairy explosion you yearn for every time you head to the fridge, rapidly-cooling bagel in hand.
The seabass carpaccio (£13) is the kind of plate that provokes gasps when it reaches the table, and results in accidental headbutts when everyone tries to get the first forkful. Slivers of seabass cured in citrus and oil, plated up with chunks of orange, bright green pistachios and a hefty sprinkling of Aleppo pepper; it’s like a big fishy sun shining in through the restaurant's enormous windows. It’s tangy, vibrant, and genuinely exciting. It is also proof that the fork and the shallow bowl are not friends; if you order this dish, or something similar to it, grab a spoon from nearby to save the delicious liquid that’s left over.
The red mullet with olive tapenade (£7) turns up last, and does a fairly good job of summarising everything that’s happened so far. It’s colourful, nice to look at, but not too showy; it’s a fish, and next to it is some tapenade. It’s well-cooked, extremely tasty, and it’s very nicely balanced. The individual bits are very nice, and they go very well together. Teamwork – turns out it’s a good idea after all.
That’s the savoury story. The sweets, on the other hand, are engaged in some kind of competition to see who can be the most outlandish and over-the-top. The hazelnut, ricotta and olive oil cake (£6) gives a good account of itself, hiding an almost mousse-like centre underneath a crunchy exterior coated in toasted hazelnuts. But the panna cotta (£6), wobbling away like nobody’s watching while drowning in an outlandishly bitter burnt caramel syrup, is an absolute banger that should have baying crowds banging on those big windows night and day.
Gloriosa, 1321 Argyle St, Glasgow
Bar open Sun-Thu, 11am-midnight, Fri - Sat, 11am-1am