CABIN fever had well and truly set in after a few days indoors with Toots.

The hacks had been harping on about this so-called storm called the 'Beast from the East', and in her chilling stare, doll face warned, "No work for you Tec, you can't be driving the Buick in that weather."

She then sighed: "That snow just keeps falling."

Ever the drama queen, I waited it out but at the first sign of clear skies, I told Toots to get her gladrags on and I took her back to civilisation - by visiting Tony Macaroni at the Glasgow Fort.

The well-known restaurant chain has eateries all over the city and beyond, and has been a popular choice at the East End shopping mall.

The chain is also owned by the same people who run Marini's chip shops and Nardini's ice cream parlours.

Over fear that other people would be thinking the same as me, I booked in advanced and when I arrived I was shown straight to my seat where I was handed the menu.

It's a comfy set up in this joint, with booths and soft lighting adding to the atmosphere.

The menus is packed with Italian favourites and caters to all tastes but we decided to stick to the classics.

Our starter was Funghi Fritti, which is mushrooms coasted in crispy golden breadcrumbs stuffed with cheese and served with garlic mayonnaise.

We decided to share and with five pieces it was more than enough. The mushrooms were delicious and the cheese added a kick to the flavour. The only criticism is more garlic mayonnaise was perhaps needed, especially for those who love to coat their mushrooms in dip, yeah I am talking about Toots.

Next up we went half and half, and shared a pizza and pasta. We chose the Amatriciana pizza which has a tomato sauce base, pancetta, red onion, fresh chillies and parmesan shavings.

The pizza base was sour dough and tasted amazing. The chillies added the spicy kick but we were disappointed at the pancetta. It was the lumpy fat bits of bacon that covered the pizza, and we had to remove most of it. In my mind I expected the pancetta to be thin and crispy.

Our pasta, however, made up for the disappointment of the pizza. We choose penne Arrabiata in a spicy tomato sauce. It was cooked just right and was not too spicy. The attentive waiter also covered the dish in parmesan which made it even more tasty.

With the cold weather snap making us constantly hungry, we also ordered chips on the side and they were delightful. The thick coat and crispy taste made the chips a clear choice if we were to come back.

Still not satisfied we decided to have a look at the dessert menu. This Tec went for the tablet sundae which was a taste sensation while Toots had the Italian favourite Tiramisu. She found time to complain, "It's okay but I have had better." I, however, had no complaints with my dessert, which was packed with Nardini's ice cream, and I could have easily gone for another helping.

Tony Macaroni lives by the phrase 'vive per mangiare' which means 'live to eat'. The restaurants offer a menu for proper foodies and fans of Italian cuisine but on my visit, small things let down the meal which would have otherwise been 'bella bella'.

Tony Macaroni, Glasgow Fort, Provan Walk, Glasgow G34 9DL, 0141 648 0111

Food: ***

Atmosphere: ***

Service: ****

The menu:

Funghi Fritti £6.75

Amatriciana pizza £9.95

Penne Arrabiata £7.50

Side of chips £2.95

Diet coke x 2 £5.70

Tablet sundae £7.25

Tiramisu £5.50

Total: £45.60

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