Pizza Express goes east
The Vue cinema complex has now opened at the back of the Glasgow Fort in Glasgow's east-end, and along with eight screens there are five new restaurants to choose from: TGI Friday, Prezzo, Harvester, Chiquito and Pizza Express, which I was invited along to.
It's been a few years since I last set foot in a Pizza Express restaurant and from first impressions they seem to have upped their game since last time...
A new menu with plenty of choice in a bright, clean, airy space with modern olive-green and grey colour scheme - Images of nearby Provanhall adorn the wall (unfortunately too many people were around for a decent photo) - and you could see the chefs cooking at the back, which is always a good sign!
San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa £2.35
The waitress sold me on a can of fizzy blood-red orange from San Pellegrino, however I also noticed Aperol spritz on the menu for only £4.45 a glass! Yay!
A little appetizer to start - crunchy almonds tossed in oil and sea salt . A tasty moreish snack but perhaps a bit too much oil. Would make an ideal beer snack.
You go years without seeing polenta in Glasgow and then you come across it twice in the space of a month! (Also eaten in Pesto, find the review here).Polenta with rosemary, twice-cooked with wholegrain Mustard vinaigrette. Yummy! A piping hot healthier alternative to chips, coated in Parmesan and rosemary and really tasty!
Spicy Italian sausage, red chillies, mixed peppers, mozzarella, pesto, oregano, grana padano and a ton of rocket.Arrived very quickly! A delicious thin soft base with loads of toppings. The described it as the hottest pizza on the menu, and it was rather spicy but not totally full-on, with more of a warming kick, which was felt once I'd finished eating it! so if you like your pizza really hot perhaps ask for another couple of chillies.
Caffè Reale £4.15
Pizza Express now offer coffee and dessert combos. Pick a dessert and then choose your coffee of choice. I plumped for Caffè Reale with a macchiato, which was really frothy with chocolate sprinkles. The dessert itself was a dollop of mascarpone cream cheese surrounded by tiny baby figs and drenched in a sweet boozy cinnamon & white wine syrup. It wasn't something I've had in Glasgow before so it was a bit unusual but reminded me of being back in sunny Italy, and after eating it and everything else I was stuffed!
My original assertion that Pizza Express have upped their game was proved correct - Pizza Express do have a long and impressive history in Britain (and abroad) with almost 450 restaurants worldwide and they're approaching their 50th anniversary, having originally opened in 1965, however my last few visits have been a little underwhelming so it's good to see some innovation on the menu with so many tasty-sounding dishes standing out, and now with Aperol, polenta chips and some classy desserts the menu is looking authentically (more) Italian - where else in Glasgow (never mind the east-end!) can you buy all of these?! As such I struggled to make my choices but there are of course still plenty of regular pizzas and other dishes on the menu which is big enough to keep everyone happy and this was reflected in the smiling happy faces all around - both young and old couples and families.
So overall a great meal with high quality ingredients, affordable prices and friendly, approachable staff - and plenty of them! An ideal place for dinner after a day's shopping with ample parking just outside and easy access to the M8 motorway - both east and west bound. A number of buses also stop at the Fort - from the city centre get off at the stop just before the main one if going direct to Pizza Express. Toilets were clean with baby-changing facilities and with a Dyson air blade mk2.
The current menu for Pizza Express at the Glasgow Fort can be found here.