Feeling in need of excitement on a Wednesday night I decided nothing like a pizza or pasta from The Salisbury on Nithsdale Road to brighten up the mid-week slump. As a big fan of Cookie before it was taken over and reopened as the Salisbury in 2014 I wasn’t overly impressed when I visited back in August when it had just opened. It certainly wasn’t Cookie and the menu was a bland pizza, pasta burger sort. However, last night that’s what I was in the mood for a macaroni cheese or something similar. Well……. I was in for a huge SHOCK! – a good one – please read on.
On arrival the venue is small and cosy yet spacious. The dapper waiter seated us immediately at the window. I really detest being seated at the wall when there is plenty of window space available. So thumbs up already. However dogs are not permitted which was disappointing.
OK, the menu came in black and white print on an A4 sheet of paper but wait, where was the old boring menu? Well, it has been replaced with what can only be described as the best menu I’ve ever seen. A fusion of traditional Scottish fare with quirky original ideas that the chef should rightfully be boasting about. Not only that but The Salisbury is following in Cookies footsteps with a seasonal menu meaning that the food is subject to change depending on seasonal availability. In which case the A4 black and white menu can be forgiven. The menu boasted venison hot pot, lamb rissole, fish pie and other mouthwatering options. It was so difficult to choose- my desire for macaroni cheese was out the window now. I definitely had to have a starter.
Risotto to start for me and as usual scallops for Alex. Wow, Wow and Wow the dried tomato Risotto was the nicest I’ve ever tasted. Cooked to perfection with the right balance of tomato and parmesan it was delightful. Alex’s scallops were nice , served with chick peas and chorizo this take on the popular starter was a pleasant welcome form the usual scallop and black pudding duet.
For the main course I was torn between a burger as I had a crave for some comfort food but this is not a restaurant for ordering a burger instead I left that to Alex to order the burger and I had the baked haddock in mornay sauce in a granola crust with dauphenoise potatoes. Nothing short of outstanding – the balance of the sweetness from the granola with the mornay sauce in the fish was simply spectacular. I really really love the twists in the menu – I mean granola on haddock? What a fabulous idea – leave the batter and breadcrumbs to restaurants quaking in the shadows of The Salisbury.
Undoubtedly the desserts sounded exceptional unfortunately the waitress didn’t have a menu of them so she read them out from the back of a till receipt. I had forgotten them by the time she had finished so we just asked if there was a cheese board and she said she could get the chef to make one up for us. Much more helpful. Good to see comfortable, confident staff who are not scared to take initiative and make requests to the chef. Well trained staff shows good management and reflects how well a restaurant is run. For me this is priceless and adds to the overall experience.
The cheeseboard had no complaints either and from what I presume were homemade oatcakes they were the best oatcakes I’d ever tasted! Perfect!!!!
Accompanying the food was the red wine which complemented the food wonderfully – we ordered 2 bottles.
This is a real gem of a restaurant/bar – it is outstanding for eating and drinking. The chefs are clearly talented. I’m so glad they’ve re-thought the menu from the first days of it opening to show their real skills and originality. It is a change for the better and takes The Salisbury into a different league. The twists and turn of otherwise traditional dishes puts the Salisbury into a different class. Possibly my new favourite restaurant with by far the best menu I’ve seen in along long time. Will definitely be back to try the rest- a superior dining experience.
Food: 5/5 – Exceptional and exciting – a real treat.
Service: 4/5 – Friendly and helpful.
Value for money: 4/5 – £75 for 2 starters, 2 mains, cheese board and 2 bottles of wine. Not bad at all! Worth every penny
Décor: 4/5 – Quirky just like the food
Total: 17/20 – Superb
Suitable for a la carte dining, drinks, couples, families. -sadly dogs not allowed