Bar/Restaurant, review. Pat Byrne
1102-1106 Argyle Street,
Glasgow G3 8TD
Telephone: 0141 337 3006
I went along with Stephanie and Lynn for a bite to eat at Ivy in Finnieston. There's lots of competition in this area from well established restaurants like Fanny Trollopes and, the very popular, Crabshack. However, after just one year in this location, having moved from North Street, the bar and restaurant seems to be carving its own niche and has plenty going for it. Most worthy of note is that it's an awful lot more than a pub serving bar food.
We were impressed by the range of choices on the very enticing 'Summer Menu' and also the 'Daily Specials' . We opted to share two starters between the three of us and that proved to be a wise decision as the Chorizo hotpot and bread plus Salt and pepper baby squid with garlic mayo, were served in very generous portions. Both dishes were fresh tasting and delicious, nice and hot and arrived promptly.
When they say that they use fresh produce at Ivy they are serious and their "bread is made by Essa at Seb and Millis' Cafe (2 minutes away)".
Stephanie and Lynn both ordered a daily special, the roast chicken with bubble and squeak and black pudding mash, and their initial response was delight at the attractive presentation. They both thoroughly enjoyed their meal describing it as 'very tasty' and my home made burger was one of the best I have ever tasted. There was an amazing selection of 'Additions' to choose from and I opted for some goat's cheese. It arrived topped with a huge slice of the delicious cheese plus a crispy salad and oceans of crispy fries. It was impossible to finish the generous portions and we needed to leave a wee space to try some of the enticing sweets.
All the desserts at Ivy are "hand made on the premises using fresh fruit and fine produce". Again we decided to share two between the three of us and had a bit of a bother choosing as they all looked so delicious. However, the attentive staff were quite happy for us to take our time - no rushing you along as happens in some restaurants.
Eventually, we agreed on Afogato: vanilla ice-cream with expresso, which consisted of five large scoops of ice-cream and a cute little cup or steaming hot and fragrant expresso to pour over. Our other choice was Lemon posset, raspberry compote, which sounded slightly ordinary but tasted extraordinary. Really lick smacking.
We all agreed that Ivy was a great place, very low key, relaxing and comfortable. Althouh the dining area is not large, it has a spacious feeling and nice roomy tables and most importantly we all enjoyed the food.
We had a little chat with our waitress, Helen, a very pleasant, informative and attractive young woman from Armagh, it turned out that despite her youth she was the Assistant Manager. We also met Ervin Trykowski, the Manager, also very youthful, but brimming with charm, confidence and enthusiasm for his job at Ivy.
His discussion about their large selection of cocktails has inspired Stephanie and Lynn to hoach a plan to return in the near future and try out some pre-dinner cocktails. Erwin explained that they take pride in creating all their own essences from scratch and the selection of drinks is astonishing. The have a particular affinity for rum and offer 'rum recommendations'.
The prices at Ivy are very reasonable considering the quality of the food - it is really fantastic value for money and offers an enjoyable night out with lovely food and staff who seem genuinely dedicated to providing good quality food and service.
Some nights they have jazz and on others DJ's. Worth checking out when there is music on in case you prefer a quiet night. At present DJ's from 8 p.m. Wednesday - Saturday.
It was busy enough for a mid-week night with the World Cup Football and Wimbledon on the television so probably better to book: Telephone: 0141 337 3006
"In 2007 Ivy received the Best New Bar award from the Theme Bar & Restaurant Magazine."