The Eusebi Deli in Glasgow’s west end is one of the hottest spots to dine in the city.
Over the past 18 months, the deli has become one of the most popular places to eat in the west of Scotland. It’s won numerous awards, deservedly so, with a combination of perfectly cooked dishes, locally sourced ingredients, first class customer service and a hands-on owner who likes to get to know her clientele.
This was our fourth visit to Eusebi’s, and Giovanna was quick to welcome our group. We had arrived slightly early, but we were still properly looked after, with a complimentary glass of Prosecco, as we waited for our table to be made ready.
Once we were seated, our drinks order was taken – and my companion can hugely recommend the Italian Martini, a fun and sweet drink with vanilla vodka, amaretto, cranberry and pineapple juice. It’s shaken until pink and frothy, and tastes fantastic. The alcoholic drinks combine to form a beautiful sweet mix, and the fruit juices help it to freshen the palate.
The new autumn menu has just been released, and there was so much to choose from – we just didn’t know what to do. In the end, we were served some small plate starters, personally chosen for us by Giovanna.
Our junior diner, with a very fussy attitude to food, was taken aback by the octopus, served on Romanesco, squash caponata and black olive caramel (£11). The seafood is cooked to perfection, with some of the suction cups blackened to perfection, giving a pleasant contrast in textures between the soft flesh of the octopus. This was a real winner. The base on which it was served was equally filling and unexpectedly tasty.
As fans of seafood, we were also presented with the hand dived scallops, with roasted baby leeks marinated in anchovy, parsley, salmonriglio vinaigrette and a pistacchio crumb (£12). This is a dish that’s not to be missed. The scallops are delicious when dipped into the accompanying sauce, and I was amazed by how good the baby leeks were – a vegetable that I normally have no interest in suddenly became full of taste.
On previous visits, we’ve been recommended a dish that we wouldn’t normally go for, and this was indeed the case again, when we were given beetroot three ways – with a watercress pesto base and balsamic almonds (£9). This was an absolutely surprise success for us. I’m not a fan of picked beetroot, so thought I’d be giving this a wee taste and then leaving the rest to my companion. Wrong! It was perfect – the beets were beautiful, soft and full of flavour, and the base was incredible. It was only afterwards that I learned it was a watercress pesto, and I could have eaten it all day.
This was accompanied by focaccia. It’s delicious and freshly baked, and with a drizzle of olive oil, it was quickly devoured by the three of us. The junior diner, who is often funny with bread, had no problems consuming this – light and soft, and baked to perfection.
For our main courses, our junior diner’s choice was an easy one – Yesterday’s Lasagne (£14). The meat and ragu taste fresh – this is definitely not a sauce that’s come from a tin or a jar, and the seasoning and herbs that have been added to it are just perfect. As I mentioned, she’s awkward with things like cheese, but there were no complaints here at all – the plate was cleaned in a short space of time.
My main course was the risotto, with Italian sausage and roasted cauliflower (£16). What an absolute delight this dish was – I would never have thought of sausage as something that would go in a risotto, and then combining it with cauliflower? It’s a superb mixture – rich and creamy, and full of flavour. The sausage is perfect – a wonderful flavour, and I was genuinely disappointed when I finished it.
For her main course, my companion chose to have the appardella goat ragu (£18). Let’s be honest – goat isn’t something that many of us would automatically look to try, but Giovanna was insistent that this was one to try. It’s made from Scottish goat meat from Myreside Farm, and was slowly cooked for 12 hours. The meat crumbled beautifully on the end of the fork, and was far superior to the last time we tried the goat, at a hotel in Lanzarote. This was absolutely faultless – the goat had a distinctive taste – definitely sheep-like, but with its own rich taste. The rago was, like the lasagne, perfect. The pasta were perfect – fresh, and pleasantly soft, and far better than anything from a packet.
This was accompanied by lobster, which was given as a sampler, served in a brioche bun with a fried duck egg, and wow. You might think this sounds pretentious, but it genuinely isn’t. It’s a fabulous flavour explosion in the mouth – the lobster is served in a beautiful sauce with avocado, and the duck egg was very tasty. It definitely had a slight edge on the standard chicken variety.
For dessert, I was struggling to choose – and, as a result, Giovanna interceded once more, to suggest I try two new creations from the autumn menu. If the owner recommends something, then you have to go with it.
She brought out a sticky toffee tart, topped with a banana (which also had a toffee glaze). I’m a sucker for the sweet things in life, and I was amazed by just how tasty the banana was. As for the sticky toffee – the sponge was just heaven, served up in a sweet pastry case.
The other offering for the autumn was a frangipane, with apple, and a crumble topping. I’m a sucker for frangipane – I love its soft texture and the associated sweetness, and the apple was a subtle but delicious presence that left a pleasant aftertaste. And, with the crumble on top, this is a wonderful, delicious dessert.
My companion chose the pecan caramel tart, which was the perfect way to top off her meal. The tart is beautifully crumbly, but maintains its rigidity when you bite into it, and the caramel has a superbly gooey texture. The pecans on top are the icing on the cake, as it were.
The autumn menu is full of choice and flavour. Giovanna informed us that some of the extra summer produce has been kept for this season, such as the Italian tomatoes, and nothing is wasted.
If you’ve not been before, this is the season to make your first visit.
Eusebi Deli, 152 Park Road, Glasgow, G4 9HB.
0141 648 9999