Paesano Pizza, Glasgow
Pizzas £6.90 - £11.50| Sides £3.50 - £6.50
Cooking 6/10 | Service 4/5
Flavour 4/5 | Value 5/5
Take recommendations from wherever, but treat those from untried sources with care. What then do you make of this one? A Vienna based sprog tells you that Italian friends recommend a pizza joint in central Glasgow. Interesting.
But the joint in question was on my list anyway, as a result of my visit to its sister place a couple of weeks ago (Sugo Pasta). A very rare opportunity to bond with 2 daughters and 1 significant other is always a pleasure, and as many of our past bondings have featured Naples's finest export, pizza seemed to be in order.
There are now two outposts of Pizza Paesano, one in Glasgow's West End, the other just off George Square. If you've been at Sugo Pasta, you have a pretty clear idea of what you're going to get. A massive, packed space: no reservations and no frills: 100% emphasis on the main event. I read that everything is authentic. Wood fired ovens, natch - hardly unique. Italian sourced ingredients - tick. And sour dough pizza bases, made on the premises and proved over two days. In the pizza religion, that's a fairly holy trinity.
Arriving just after seven on a midweek evening, we were a bit disconcerted by a small crowd milling outside. It transpires they were waiting, in best Glasgow tradition, for a cairry-oot. But inside it looked mobbed. Not to worry, after a wait of just a few minutes, we were wheeched to a stripped wooden trestle table. L has been encouraging me to try yoga classes. Perhaps that would have made it easier to contort my legs onto the long communal bench. Once installed, I have to say it was surprisingly comfortable. A hook for jackets and a tin bucket with napkins, cutlery and the all important and oft forgotten pizza wheel. Who could ask for more?
On the menu? Pizza and a few sides, and that's it. Ten on the permanent card, plus three specials. There is no great attempt to upsell, but you could fiddle about with extra ingredients, starting at a very reasonable £0.50. The sides comprise olives and onions, a spicy dip, and a few salads. The only one priced over four pounds has burrata, not an economy ingredient. To say the service is slick is an understatement. I was amazed at the speed with which the pizzas came out, four large circles of beauty to wrestle with and share. They're done properly. Paesano was recently voted in the Top 50 pizza restaurants in Europe. Being hypercritical, I would have liked that little extra crunch that 30 more seconds would have imparted, but I think I was in the minority. I love the fact that you can upgrade to proper buffalo mozzarella, melting balls of loveliness being infinitely preferable to the stringiness of fior di latte.
I think we ordered 7,8,9 & 10, but it might have been 6,7, 9 & 10. A full house, whichever way. There were a couple of veggie options, ordered because they sounded delicious, not because any of my lot are of that persuasion. So we enjoyed grilled aubergines, and spinach and mushrooms. Carnivorous joys included fennel sausage, and spicy ventricina and n'duja sausage. Not a single crumb was left, nor a single space available for dolci.
I seldom mention wine lists. For me, a decent pizza demands some basic vino, your colour of choice. There are three choices of each, prices ranging from £19 to a whopping £23. (For first time readers, that last bit was a joke.). Service is fun too, though done (of necessity) at break neck speed. We had the lovely Maria. We did ask one of her colleagues for another bottle of the surprisingly drinkable house red, but it failed to materialise. Hey ho, we were none the worse for it.
A small word of caution. Don't bring a date for a romantic night out. You feel no pressure to turn the table, but, like the couple on the same bench, we were in and out in an hour, full of food and full of good feelings.
One's duty as a father is to pick up the tab for these occasions. Dinner for 4, with one upgrade, and a bottle of wine - 65 quid before the tip. At these prices, we Dads can feel extra cheery.
Tom so glad you found Paesano. I love it haven’t been since before Covid due to Zoom meetings but can’t wait to return – wonder if Mr C would enjoy?
On Twitter he commented on the article – agreeing with me that the pizzas would benefit from an extra 30 seconds – so I’m sure he’s been there.
Jim and I went to Paesano a few times, finding it made a great pre concert meal when we would go through to the west on the train, eat great pizza, hear super music and train home. Going for an early dinner also avoided too much of a queue. A good night out.
Nice to hear from you. Oddly enough, I never thought of Jim as a pizza man.