On Friday night my good friend Maggie and I met up for dinner at one of Glasgow’s newest restaurant, Porter & Rye. Situated in the hip Finnieston end of Argyle Street, Porter & Rye is being heralded as Glasgow’s first ‘molecular restaurant’, serving fine dry-aged meats, small plate dining and classic mixed drinks.
Porter & Rye is the sister restaurant of The Finnieston, just a few doors down the road and is the latest venture from Kained Holdings who also own Lebowski’s and The Crafty Pig.
The restaurant itself wouldn’t look at all out of place in London…exposed brick walls, tiled floors, filament lightbulbs, a dry-ageing cabinet in the bar area with cuts of meat hanging in it… It was packed full, even though it had opened just 9 days earlier. Word has obviously got around.
Maggie was especially excited to be out as it was her first night out she’d had since she had her beautiful baby girl Katie 3 months ago. So when I arrived, Maggie was already at the table, studying the menu.
Our waitress was delightful and immediately talked us through their cuts of meat. However, Maggie and I weren’t really in the mood for steak so we decided to order a selection of small plates and sides. We also ordered a bottle of Malbec but the waitress suggested that might not work with what we ordered so she expertly talked us through the wine list until we decided on another bottle of red.
The first dish that jumped out at us was Pan-Fried King Scallops with citrus beetroot tartare, seaweed and scallop roe salt, lemon foam and grapefruit gel (£14.95). I asked how many scallops you get in a portion and I was told there were 3. The waitress did explain that they were hand-dived scallops from the Ethical Shellfish Company, caught fresh every morning off Mull.
These were beautiful…huge, tender, juicy, meaty, perfectly cooked and the beetroot tartare added a lovely zesty earthiness to them.
The Free-Range Kilduncan Farm Crispy Duck Egg served with an onion consommé, tarragon oil and crispy onions (£5.95) was next up.
The plate came with the egg in the middle then the waitress poured in the consommé and drizzled the tarragon oil around the edge of the plate. The egg had a good golden crust with a rich runny yolk and the onion consommé and crispy onions were delicious with it. I really enjoyed this dish.
The Knochraich Farm crowdie cheese bon bons served with a butternut squash trio, parmesan air and Amaretti crumb (£5.95) sounded promising and were indeed tasty but we both felt there wasn’t enough of a crisp crust to them. We also didn’t really taste the butternut squash as the cheese dominated the dish. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the cheese was delicious, I just would have liked the butternut squash to have come through a bit more.
The side dishes we ordered (all £3 each) were Bone Marrow Mac ‘n’ Cheese…
Absolutely bloody delicious! This had crispy bacon lardons throughout and to be honest, I could have ordered another one. In fact, if I lived in Glasgow I’d be in Porter & Rye all the time ordering this. We also ordered the Wild Winter Mushrooms, buttered kale and truffle salt fries…all lovely.
For pudding we ordered two which we shared. Carrot cake with caramelised carrot purée, cinnamon aired white chocolate and Longlay Farm buttermilk ice cream. (£5.95)
This was a very good take on a traditional carrot cake. The sponge itself was beautiful…moist, dense and bursting with spices. It was one of the best carrot cake sponges I’ve tasted in a long time. The air dried cinnamon white chocolate was a bit odd and I’m not sure it necessarily went with carrot cake. I could taste the cinnamon which was nice, but not the white chocolate. Maggie and I could be philistines but we both said we kind of missed a bit of cream cheese frosting with our carrot cake.
We also ordered Dark Chocolate Mousse with Clementine sorbet, burnt orange purée and hazelnut praline. (£6.95)
Delicious rich, dense chocolate…not really as light and airy as a mousse normally is, but that didn’t matter at all, it was lovely. The Clementine sorbet was superb, it was bursting with zingy flavour and complimented the chocolate perfectly, as did the hazelnut praline.
We had a fantastic night at Porter & Rye and I will definitely be back. The service was spot on. Our waitress was incredibly friendly and very knowledgeable about each dish and the wine list. She was also there when we wanted her but didn’t bother us when we didn’t. We thoroughly enjoyed the food and I’d love to sample more of the menu. They clearly know what they are doing and I reckon they could probably produce a fantastic steak so I’d like to come back for that. If you’re in Glasgow anytime soon, this is well worth a visit.
Porter & Rye, 1131 Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8ND.