The Grove is one of 5 restaurants and bars in The R Group, built in the image of their sister restaurant Garvie and Co. in Milngavie. Housed in what use to be Carriages Bar in Lenzie, The Grove is all wooden panels and copper features – clean, chic and modern. When we arrived for lunch on Friday, there were a few tables occupied by families, couples and groups of friends but the restaurant wasn’t packed and the atmosphere was calm and pleasant.
Seated in a spacious booth, we perused both the lunch and full a la carte menus, eventually opting to order from across both. Both of dad’s choices came from the lunch menu, with his selections of Mac and Cheese Crunch and Pizza Irrocco both going down well. His starter comprised three crunchy, breaded and fried balls with gooey macaroni cheese in the centre. Apart from needing some salt, this was a pretty good starter with a lovely crispy outer shell. The Pizza Irrocco was a super thin, crispy based pizza topped with spicy chicken, chorizo, red onion and chilli. The chorizo looked a bit overdone when the pizza arrived, although dad didn’t complain much (for some bizarre reason, he doesn’t mind burnt food). The chicken came in nice meaty chunks – dad would have preferred them in smaller pieces but I thought they looked pretty decent. Most importantly for dad, however, was that the advertised chilli was definitely present, with a nice spiciness throughout the pizza.
Mum and I decided to share a starter of Quick Fried Salt and Pepper Calamari, my go to dish on any menu. The squid itself was well cooked, and was contained within a crispy coating. The salt and pepper was lacking, meaning we did feel the need to add salt to the squid. The crowning glory of the dish was the accompanying salsa verde – zingy and tart, it wasn’t too smooth or too chunky, and it was a gorgeous alternative to the usual garlic mayonnaise that tends to come with squid dishes.
For my main I also chose one of those thin and crispy pizzas, plumping for the Gamba Picante. The pizza was topped with plump prawns, salty chunks of pancetta, chilli and lemon dressed rocket. Again, the chilli was evident throughout the pizza, leaving me with quite a fiery glow by the time I was finished. I particularly liked that the pancetta was cut into sizable chunks, with the fattiness of the meat contrasting and complimenting the juicy prawns. It should also be noted that the lemon dressing on the rocket injected a nice tartness to the pizza, although I could have used a little more of it. I did leave the crusts of my pizza as I prefer a softer, chewier crust than those created in The Grove’s wood fired oven, but that’s personal preference and overall it was a good pizza.
Mum chose a pasta dish from the main menu, also suckered in by the king prawns. Her Spaghetti Gamberoni was billed as containing king prawns, red onion, spinach, garlic and cherry tomatoes – all very nice sounding. Indeed, the dish was pretty tasty – with only one slight issue. Despite not being listed in the ingredients, the dish clearly had a fair amount of chilli in it, with mum noting the spice on her very first mouthful. Fortunately, it wasn’t so spicy that she couldn’t eat dish, but we both felt that the chilli should definitely have been listed on the menu – after all, there are plenty of people out there who hate spicy foods.
Given that this is the biggest complaint I have about The Grove, I can safely say we had a good experience there. Restaurants in The R Group usually serve up pretty good food, and The Grove didn’t deviate from that. So, if you’re looking for a reasonably priced meal outside of the city centre, then you can definitely add The Grove to your list.