I’ve never been offered a knife block and told to ‘choose my weapon’ before. It’s an unusual preamble to a quiet meal out, but Porter & Rye isn’t just any old establishment. On ‘The Strip’ (Finnieston, that is), the restaurant is causing a stir, serving up superlative steak and cocktails to a ravenous, unpretentious Glasgow crowd. The ethos is as unfussy as the plates before us: meat is dry-aged and awaits its introduction to the grill in glass chillers in full view of the dining public; cuts are simple, cocktails are old-fashioned.
I opt to start with an Intermission: Tanqueray gin, King’s Ginger liqueur, Amaro Nonino and limeade syrup stirred and served over a scoop of Granny Smith sorbet (£7.50). Our waiter describes it as a palate-cleanser. And it’s a good thing, too, because what follows it is worth that clean slate.
Guy Grieve’s ethically sourced, hand-dived scallops are surrounded by crispy monkfish cheeks (£12.95) and are meaty, light and easily devoured. The East Kipton Farm’s pig’s head (£6.95) is rich and old-school – like a more polished take on something my West of Scotland granny would rustle up.
When it comes to steak, fillet (£29.95) feels like the right choice; this hammer-head of beef is flanked by truffle salt fries (£3.50) and Knockraich Farm crowdie bonbons (£3.50). To the uninitiated, these are like little cheesy clouds with a crisp shell and, armed with my ‘weapon of choice’ (the smallest knife of the bunch, by the way), they billow and ooze in creamy ponds on the plate. Dessert is executed with equal aplomb. A white chocolate and passion fruit cheesecake is cookbook picture pretty and just the right side of enough. Simple and stylish on the Strip.
This is just a taster, you can browse the full article with more stunning photography on page 263, issue 104.
Where Porter & Rye, 1131 Argyle Street, Glasgow
Words Catherine Coyle