9th Jan 2011
We know it's a bit uncool to say so but...we love the furniture here! The tables are a talking point in themselves. Carved from wood and shaped in a natural form (you'll see what we mean when you get there) they're just lovely. Do have a surrepticious stroke! Tables are tucked into wee nooks in the restaurant and the chairs are mostly stools or large high-backed wooden benches which work well as dividers and lend the place it's cosy atmosphere. I've never turned up here without a booking and managed to get a table, even during week nights. Its popularity is without question.
It's not just the ambience though; the food is excellent. Mostly Scottish fayre, it doesn't come cheap, but it is delicious and the portions are a decent size. We always choose the Stornoway black pudding with pancake and mushrooms. In fact, we'd like it right now...please? Definitely this is a restaurant for a special occasion (ie it's not the type of place you'd pop into just for a quick bite to eat). Its clientele is pretty posh and you wouldn't feel out-of-place having dressed up.
Lunchtimes too are usually filled, with city business-types and again, it's difficult to get seated unless you've booked in advance. There's an excellent wine list which you can sample, not just in the restaurant itself, but the pleasant bar upstairs. The bar isn't big, but it is cosy.
The restaurant has hit on a winning formula and has recently opened a second eaterie just round the corner and specialising in Fish. We haven't been yet but it's definitely on our list. Cafe Gandolfi is classy and if you want to impress with both the decor and food, then this is the place to come. Only downside? A bit pricey.