Ellie Forbes tries out Celentano’s, a classic Italian feast brimming with flavour.
It’s a gorgeous end of summer evening as I walk through Cathedral Square on my way to a much anticipated visit to Celentano’s.
Nestled near the entrance to Glasgow’s Necropolis, Chef Dean Parker and his wife Anna opened the Italian in 2021 after they pitched up in Glasgow, from London, where the pair had made a name for themselves in some top eateries.
Sitting inside Cathedral House hotel, a baronial building which has overseen the entrance to the Necropolis since 1896, Celentano’s is the couple’s latest creation.
The venture was inspired by their honeymoon in Italy, with the restaurant even named after a song they heard on repeat while travelling there.
The place is gorgeous, with original floors, sage-green wooden panelling, big windows and an intimate split-level dining room. The decor perfectly complements its gothic location.
It’s a busy Friday night so we are seated at the bar, the perfect spot to watch the array of colourful, delicious looking cocktails being mixed up.
We start with a glass of delicious pink fizz and a few nibbles – fat, juicy Nocellara olives (£3), and fresh sourdough bread – which is still warm – dipped in Le Ferre olive oil (£4.50).
Two incredible smoked cod doughnuts (£4) also arrive. The springy choux pastry, which bursts to release the smoky-salty filling, is topped with a mulch of kimchi and chives and has a delightful kick.
Then it’s onto the antipasti. We opt for the stracciatella (£11.50), a soft cheese originally made in the Puglia region of south-eastern Italy.
It’s my first time trying the creamy delight, which comes with succulent tomatoes and a sourdough crumb. It’s extremely morish and the star of the show for me.
Already feeling like we had devoured a fair amount of food, we decided to share a small fresh pappardelle pasta with a Dexter beef sauce for the primi course (£12).
The pasta is exquisite, no surprise there. It’s silky with an al dente bite and the sauce is rich without being too heavy.
BBQ monkfish in toasted nori comes out next, with wilted greens and seaweed butter (£27), it is simplicity at its finest. The meaty fish is cooked to perfection, seasoned well, and the perfect size for my friend and I to share after all we have delighted in so far.
Our wonderful waitress recommends a side order of potato strati (£6), and thank goodness she did. The two slabs of potatoes are golden and crisp on the outside but buttery smooth and fluffy on the inside. The cherry on top – they have been cooked in beef fat (sign me up for anything cooked in beef fat).
There is just enough room for some Errington farm cheese (£12.50) which is served with delicious seeded oat crackers and Celentano’s honey. Not normally one for honey, I shied away at first, but it’s the perfect balance to the rich, creamy cheese.
This modern Italian highlights how rewarding simple flavours done well can be. Celentano’s is a wonderful addition to the Glaswegian food scene, one I can’t wait to visit again.
Celentano’s at Cathedral House, 28-32 Cathedral Square, Glasgow, G4 0XA.
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