Good food is popping up left, right and centre around Glasgow.
Gone are the days when you headed to the Merchant City for an upmarket eat, Sauchiehall St for buffet fare and anywhere else if you wanted to chance your luck.
With the city’s food star forever on the rise, it’s a case of keeping your eye on an ever-expanding scene, and hoping to keep up with the newest and best restaurants opening almost weekly.
Nestled in at the shopping end of Queen Street, The Bowery’s location doesn’t scream high end — but step inside and you’ll find a menu with hidden gems.
The former Independent bar has been stripped of its black and bling decor in favour of a little more subtlety — although the Bowery bar retains a little of that sparkle, with the weekend crowd cocktails to match.
Not that the place is living for the weekend, that is. The other half and I arrived on a wet Monday night and were seated next to a big crowd celebrating some occasion and partying like it was Black Friday — perhaps a testament to the draw of the new place.
Points as well for friendly waiting staff — The Bowery’s are chatty and informal, and it makes a nice change from stuffier service elsewhere.
The OH ordered up lamb meatballs to start, served with puy lentils and yoghurt dressing. The meat was tender and well spiced, the lentils meltingly soft and cooling alongside. He was mightily impressed, declaring it one of the best starters he’s had on an Extra food outing.
It’s a menu of old favourites studded with the odd surprise, and I opted for one of the latter; charred chorizo with saffron aioli and anchovies. It was another great dish; crumbling, spicy chorizo pairing well with salty, silvery slivers of fish and lightly perfumed dollops of sauce.
If you’re not a fish fan then this isn’t the one for you — but for more adventurous diners, it’s something new, and very tasty.
The OH went classic with a main of beer battered haddock and chunky chips. There was high praise, again, for the freshness of the fish, chunky homemade tartare sauce and an excellent mound of minted and mushed peas — although the batter on the fish fell a little flat and soggy.
Still, it’s safe to say I won the battle of the mains. My harissa braised ox cheek was delicious; melt-in-the-mouth slow cooked meat, perfectly paired with a sweet potato pave — thin, buttery slices of potato and sweet potato stacked into a neat little cake — and a rich red wine jus.
Charred spring onions on the side were a little tough — but bitter notes from a scattering of herbs brought the whole thing together.
Above all, it’s a reasonably priced menu considering those unusual gems — and with daytime market menu options starting at £4.95, The Bowery seems a safe bet for a midweek mid-shopping break, cocktail thrown in for good measure (go on, you deserve it after all that retail therapy).
Lamb Meatballs, puy lentil salad, yoghurt dressing - £6
Charred Chorizo, saffron aioli, anchovies - £5.25
Beer battered Haddock, Chunky chips, minted peas and tartare sauce- £11.50
Harissa Braised Ox Cheek, Sweet potato pave, buttered leeks, red wine jus - £12.25
Total for two (without drinks): £35
35-41 Queen St
0141 248 4633