Glasgow: 285 Sauchiehall Street, 332 2272.

Some peOple collect stamps, others hoard football cards. Those running Topolino’s have more ambitious cravings: they just can‘t get enough Italian restaurants.

This relaxed basement bar and bistro is brought to you by the same talented folks who gave Glasgow Paperino's, The Big Blue and La Parmiginia. Indeed, Topolino's, an oasis of Mediterranean style beneath busy Sauchiehall Street, is directly below Paperino's.

There is a worrying tendency for trendy new restaurants and bars to have all the soul designed out of them. But Topolino’s manages to be both stylish and spirited. The decor is an intriguing mix of the very traditional and the bang-up-to-date, where you are just as likely to be struck by the clock image beamed onto a wall in the bar area, as by one of the Roman-style amphorae lurkinJ exotically in the corners.

There is a large range of meals on offer from pastas to meat to fish, but, unusually for Italian premises, there is

no pizza option. However, they do specialise in cooking food on a charcoal grill. The fresh fish of the day particularly benefits from this manner of preparation. Starters are mostly in the £2—£4 price range, while main courses generally cost £S—£9. The restaurant also boasts an extensive wine list, with all the bottles displayed in a large dark-wood cabinet in the middle of the room.

Of course, Topolino’s is not just about cooking; you will be made equally welcome if you just fancy a coffee or a beer. The unpretentious ambience and modern music lend themselves admirably to such activities, with a real party atmosphere building at

weekends. (Peter Ross)

Topolino's: unpretentious ambience

Star Bites

A thumbnail guide to the eating habits of the famous, nearly famous and would-be famous.

’Wee' David Roberston, of Edinburgh's top pop-punk combo Magicdrive, lets us in on the secrets of what soul food fuelled the inspiration for their new single, 'It Had To Be You', which is out now.

’T he nachos at The Filmhouse, they are the best. Whenever me and my girlfriend go into town we eat their nachos. First you get the nachos, then a layer of chilli and a layer of cheese. It's topped with slices of chillies and sprinkled with cress. First nibble the cress, then get a huge chunk of chilli on a nacho

and . . .'

At this point Roberston’s eyes glaze over and he ‘slips into a chilli- induced reverie.

Side orders


Popular wisdom holds that Glasgow has the best style bars in Scotland. The Publican Awards, considered the Oscars of the on-license industry, seem to support that view: Glasgow’s Bargo is the only bar in Scotland and one of six in the UK, to make it through to the final of the Design of the Year category. Tennents Taverns and Branson & Coates Architecture worked together to come up with the Bargo concept and the result has already become something of a legend. The design is actually based on Geunet and Cards film The City Of Lost Children, creating a film-set look with an industrial feel. Final judging takes place on Tue 18 Mar in the Grosvenor in London. The Merchant City holds its breath and pops into Bargo for another swift quencher while they await the results. I Bargo, Albion Street, 0147 552 2680.

Tramway Pasta Bar

New Moves Across Europe 1997, the interntational dance festival, is cele- brating its tenth birthday. As part of the shenanigans marking the event, Tramway, in association with Glasgow City Council catering services, has set up the Pasta Bar to prevent any rumbling turns from marring the performances. Set within Tramway, the Pasta Bar is open from 6pm until the start of performances and runs the gamut of Italian cuisine from mine- strone fagioli soup to a variety of pastas and sauces. Garlic bread and salads are available for snacks or side orders, and the most expensive dish is a mere £4.75. A Macon Rouge from Samsons' cellars will wash it down nicely at £12 or, if you've got something to celebrate, the sparkling Veuve du Vernay won't break the bank at £12.50.

I Tramway, 25 Albert Drive, 0147 287 0498.

The Rhodes Show

Gary Rhodes cookery show, which was to take place at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Sun 9 Mar and the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Mon 10 Mar, has been postponed until the autumn due to technical difficulties. Ticket- holders should return their tickets to the point of sale fora refund.



The Central Takeaway And Deli

It's not all that often that coffee served in British cafes gets the thumbs-up from American visitors but the Central Takeaway claims that both their coffees and their BLTs are receiving the American seal of approval.

Opened late last year, the Central, as we shall call it for breVity's sake, aims to bring a soupcon of European cafe culture along with some American deli specialities to the Tollcross area. Situated next to the Cameo cinema and just a stone's throw from the King’s, the Central pulls in a pick and mix of film fans, theatregoers and students from the art college who hang loose with a coffee and the papers, watching the world bustle by without them. One of the owners used to play with thrash popsters, The Fire Engines and tailors the music on the tannoy according to the weather and time of day. The scare at Taxi Driver is particularly popular at the moment.

Espressos, cappucinos and lattes are the common currency at the Central with various sandwiches, including a mean pastrami and brie on rye, forming a more solid baricade against hunger. On the deli front, the Central aims to provide all that's needed for a top notch Italian or French style meal. The Central is open Mon-Wed Bam—6pm; Thurs—Sat 8am-9pm and during the summer the owners hope to open later into the night.

I 42 Home Street, 0131 228 8550.

Le Sept

7 Old F ishmarket Close Edinburgh

Lunch and Dinner Monday to Thursday. Friday, Saturday and Sunday open all day

telephone 0131 225 5428

two cities.

over a million eaters and drinkers. over 700 premises.

one eating and drinking guide.

The List Eating & Drinking Guide for l997. lo,OOO copies distributed FREE with The List magazine

on l7 April.

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Make a meal of it.

An authoritative guide that caters and drinkers in

Edinburgh and Glasgow will reier to all year,

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7—20 Mar 1997 THEIJSTOS