Flexible friends

Glasgow’s bistro culture is being taken to a new dimension, with the emphasis on flexibility. Kathleen Morgan checks out two new arrivals and one that never went away.

It came quietly onto Glasgow‘s bistro scene, nudging its way into the city's Italian Centre. but Vittclli & Vittclli is packing a punch where it matters in the bellies of a growing and loyal clientele. The brainchild of Simon Littlejohn. founder of a nationwide chain of Littlejohns restaurants and buddy Alex Knight. it is a mix of restaurant-cum-deli-cum-bar. The secrets of what its creators hope will be its success are its freshness and flexibility. both on the menu and off.

‘We have reasonable prices. we‘re open from 8.30am until llpm and we‘re doing everything with fresh food.‘ says Knight. revealing the simple recipe he and his partner follow. ‘We get students. ()APs and trendies; all different customers. People can spend £5 on a nice meal or £50 on an a la carte meal and feel comfortable. Whether they’re wearing jeans or an Armani suit doesn‘t matter.‘

Vittclli & Vittclli aims to offer quality on a plate. without skinning the customer. The specials menu is changed once. sometimes twice a day and customers can sample everything from brunch to a la carte heaven. From freshly-baked croissants to sauteed supreme of salmon. variety is the spice of this business.

Wandering into the bistro. you are hit with the smell of fresh baking and the sight of a marvellous delicatessen. topped with an impressive shelf of more than 75() bottles of wine. The

Le Sept

7 Old F ishmarket Close Edinburgh

lunch and dinner Monday to Thursday all day Friday and Saturday Sundays dinner only

telephone 031 225 5428

Vittclli & Vittelli: welcomes jeans and Armani suits alike

permits. taking advantage of the prime position on the pedestrianiscd John Street.

The 28-year-old Scotland representative for a coffee supplier. Knight has been at the other side of the catering business for ten years. He met 34-year-old business partner when he was supplying Littlejohns restaurants. When Littlejohn sold the chain. the partnership idea was suggested and quickly flourished.

Flexibility is at the heart ofanother newcomer to Glasgow's food and drink scene. The long-awaited successor to the once-legendary Spaghetti Factory has opened its doors in the city‘s west end. As yet. it is signatureless a gold leaf sign is being prepared to withstand Glasgow weather but Stravaigin has finally arrived.

Both the Spaghetti Factory and Back

Alley were bought last October by

Ronnie Clydesdale. owner of that west end bastion of cultured drinking. the Ubiquitous Chip. The idea was to work on the success already achieved by Back Alley. widening its menu but retaining the restaurant‘s basic design. Stravaigin was a different matter. No

shred of the Spaghetti Factory was to

be left after a complete renovation. General managers Susie Wilson and

7 Carol Wright have engineered the doors are flung open whenever weather

whole procedure. stripping the



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restaurant of its black and red decor and theme mentality. All that remains ofthe original place is a piano, which they hope to use for jazz. entertainment at some point.

Once a kitchen and offices. the ground floor has been opened up into a bar. while downstairs. the dark basement image has been swept away for a fresh, bright eating area. The menu is varied. with ltalian. Caribbean. Cuban. Scottish. Indian. Mexican and American dishes all making an appearance. Even more appetising are the prices, which should please students and restaurant buffs alike.

Both Glasgow students in their time. Wilson and Wright decided Stravaigin's menu should be accessible. affordable and exciting. Their ideas were influenced by a trip to New York. where you can eat almost anything at any time. But ifthe flavour is multi- national. the name is Scottish. According to Wilson. Stravaigin is an old Norse word adopted by Scots ; dialect. ‘As the Aboriginals go walkabout, so the Highlanders go Stravaigin.‘ she says. if you‘re not convinced. try the menu.

Ville/Ii & l’i/li'llt is at [5 John .S'Irt'r'l. (i/us‘gmi; 552 4433’; S/mmilem is (1/ if) (Ii/)smz .S'Il‘eel. 3’34 2665 and [fuck {ll/(w is (1/ 8 Rill/ll't’ll IAIIH’. 3’34 7/65.


Ubiqaitcms Chip




TEL: 041-334 5007


This dish tor two is supplied by Michael Hughes, head chet at Vittelll & Vittelli.


2 chicken breasts, marinated in olive oil and ginger

509 sesame seeds

509 poppy seeds

509 crushed pink peppercorns chopped chives and chervil

2 apples

509 stem ginger

lemon zest and juice of a lemon 1 pint double cream

‘A pint chicken stock

2 tsp soya sauce

chopped ginger

Mix the sesame and poppy seeds, the peppercorns and herbs together for the crust. Pass the chicken through the mix and pan-try in a little olive oil until brown, then put on a tray and finish in the oven.

For the sauce, reduce the stock by a third; add the cream and allow to boil, then simmer until thickened. Add the

: soya and ginger.

Grate the apple and ginger together,

; and add the lemon zest and juice.

Serve the chicken with the apple mixture and pour sauce in a pool around it. Garnish with chopped chives.


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pro-snow meals 0

evening meals 0

alter-show meals



Serving food and drink

a wide selection of international wines

beers and spirits

(any, groovy 8 tonky music regular bar promotions




350 Sauchiehall Street Telephone: 041 332 7864

HAPPY llOIlR e e e e 5-8pm

The List l5—28 July I994 85