A few weeks ago, myself and Nicola were very kindly invited along to try out new Italian restaurant Osteria del Tempo Perso in Glasgow's Merchant City. We had a fantastic evening and were looked after incredibly well by co-owner Marco and his staff. Keen to know a little more about this family business, I put my 5 Questions to one of the brothers behind Osteria.
Here's Marco's story;
My family has always been passionate about food, particularly my mother Sabrina and my brother Matteo. For me, my passion is Italian wine and the addition it can have to any meal, whether something simple like bread and cheese or a fresh pasta dish.
In 2003, my mother, brother and I turned our passions into our careers, launching Osteria Del Tempo Perso in our home town of Lazio. In doing so we brought back the ancient way of naming taverns, the first of which opened in 1861. In April 2014 we opened our first restaurant in Scotland in Edinburgh which was followed by Glasgow this April.
Each of our restaurants focus on good quality ingredients and their provenance. For us, it is important that we know where everything comes from and that it is of quality. The same goes for our wine. Our Glasgow restaurant has over 80 bottles of wine, only one of which is not Italian. All our wines are sourced from small Italian growers who work sustainably, producing organic wines with little intervention. Each ingredient is treated with respect, from cooking right through to the presentation.
What’s the best piece of business advice you could give?
It would have to be to follow your passion; after all it is what my family has done! If you’re passionate about something it doesn’t feel so much like a job.
Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?
I would very much like to be sharing the Osteria experience with new areas of Scotland. We still have lots of places to see but my brother and I love Scotland. The natural larder here is fantastic with some of the best quality meat and fish produce.
If you could only cook one of your own recipes, what would it be & why?
For me, simple is best. The beauty of food should never be over complicated. When this happens it tends to lose what has made it so special in the first place – the individual flavours of the raw ingredients.
I would make Bruschetta with fresh Italian bread and top it with garlic, juicy ripe tomatoes and lots of virgin olive oil followed by carbonara, with guanciale (cured bacon), eggs and parmesan and some of our freshly made pappardelle. You cannot beat it. In Scotland, many people ask for cream to be added to carbonara, something which would never be done in Italy. It has been interesting to see the cultural palates and to work with our menu to celebrate this.
You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?
For me it would have to be the great Giacomo Bologna, who was behind some of the most beautiful wines including Uccellone, Bricco della Bogotta, and Ai Suma which were each aged in small oak barrels.
Our menu might be slightly different here in that the focus will be on the wine! We would drink bricco dell'uccellone and accompany it with a platter of bread, cheese and prosciutto. Like all things in Italy, this would be enjoyed over time – something which we are encouraging diners at our restaurant to do.
Marco clearly has a passion for good food and drink which is carried through to the fantastic meals served at Osteria Del Tempo Perso. Hopefully by understanding what makes Marco tick, you'll want to get along to the restaurant to find out for yourself. If you do manage to get a table booked, you've got to try the Saltimbocca - it's to die for!