Recently I visited Bo’Vine on Byres Road in Glasgow for some Sunday lunch with friends. I’ve been meaning to try Bo’Vine for absolutely ages, more so since the Glasgow LVC meeting was held at the Hilton. Now, to be honest, the catering for that meeting was a bit hit and miss, but I reasoned that Bo’Vine’s regular food would be totally different.
I arrived at the restaurant first, with P in tow. Things got off to a fine start, we were shown our table, the menus for Sunday lunch and a wine list. We ordered a bottle of wine to share and were also brought a jug of water to the table. As we relaxed, waiting for our friends to arrived we looked around. The restaurant it pretty nice, it’s comfortable and welcoming and although it wasn’t busy we were far from the only people there.
Soon our friends joined us and ordered drinks. The waitress returned and took our lunch orders. Bo’Vine offers a two course Sunday lunch for £15.95 or you can have three courses for £18.95. I chose the smoked salmon and crab to start, followed by the roast sirloin and I got the coffee crème brûlée for dessert. P chose the goat’s cheese croquettes and the roast pork but skipped dessert. Our friends chose the goat’s cheese croquettes and the black pudding, both wanted the sirloin, one decided on the coffee crème brûlée and one on the ice cream sundae.
All sounds lovely, right? Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it was around this time that the service kind of fell apart. Given that the restaurant wasn’t packed and that they were running a set menu, I’m not sure what went wrong, but it was a bit of a shame.
The starters arrived and were nice enough. I enjoyed my salmon and crab, although it wasn’t the most enormous portion it was fresh and tasty. I’d order it again, I think. Then the mains showed up. Two thin slices of beef, a splash gravy, three not-especially-golden roast potatoes, suspiciously uniform Yorkshire puddings and a collection of slightly limp veg; I couldn’t decide whether it had been sautéd or roasted in too much oil. Oh dear.
It wasn’t totally awful, just lacklustre. Sunday lunch should be hearty, warm and indulgent. This smacked a little too much of canteen food. Even more so because Bo’Vine (as the name suggests) is supposed to be all about the beef and the wine. Beef is the speciality here and Sunday lunch is a great opportunity for them to tempt people to come back one day to try the main menu. Sadly, that’s not something I’ll be doing.
My friend and I both asked for a latte with our desserts and P, not being tempted by anything, asked for a beer. First, the desserts arrived, and I should say that the coffee crème brûlée was pretty good, and then we waited. Eventually, after we were done eating, the lattes and the beer showed up. Perhaps we’d been forgotten or the order had been confused? Who knows. I’d forgive them but the beer had coffee grounds in it.
It’s always a bit of a pity when you have a disappointing meal. I don’t think that I’ll bother to go back. However, I can vouch for BeGIN next door doing a mean Kahlua martini, so it’s not all bad. Still, there are better steak places in Glasgow and even better non-steak places for Sunday roast. Next time I’ll choose one of them.