Walk in to new Italian restaurant Gloria’s in Thame and you begin to understand what can be done with the vision and the drive of Biagio Patalano.
Opened in memory of his wife Gloria, by all accounts a beautiful woman who had always dreamed about opening an authentic, classic Italian restaurant, Gloria passed away before she had the chance to fulfil those dreams.
“Biagio chose to open a restaurant in memory of the woman he clearly still loves. It is a lesson to us all to live our lives. Time is short”
So instead Biagio chose to open a restaurant in memory of the woman he clearly still loves. It is a lesson to us all to live our lives. Time is short.
And he’s done it in great style. Sumptuous is the word that comes to mind when trying to encapsulate what is essentially Gloria’s – the décor, the warmth, the welcome.
Dining out is not just about the food here because the opulent stage is set the moment you walk in – gold and mirrors on every wall, oil paintings and marble abound, bright colours proliferate, sensual fabrics from velvets to brocade dominate. More is, very occasionally, more. Liberace eat your heart out!
Throw in Biagio as the epitome of a good Italian host – charming, relaxed and welcoming – and he’s taught his staff well to provide great service with no pretentions.
As for the food – simple home cooked, traditional Italian food using the best ingredients – there really is nowhere to hide with this menu, but the chefs at Gloria’s have no intention of hiding.
Angelo, a family friend who’s known Biagio since he was a little boy, heard about the new restaurant and came out of retirement to cook there
Angelo, a family friend who’s known Biagio since Biagio was a little boy, heard about the new restaurant and came out of retirement to cook there. He works three nights a week and only cooks the specials. At 79 years old he wanted to make sure that they were cooked properly. One of the many stories that have become the foundation of Gloria’s inception.
But I digress again, back to the glorious food. The bread made by DeGustibus in Abingdon is utterly perfect – I could happily just sit at Gloria’s drinking fine Italian wines and eating the artisan breads.
Then the Antipasto, although the burrata was unavailable and replaced by buffalo mozzarella, accompanied by cherry tomatoes and rocket pesto.
“come for lunch, come for dinner, come for an ice cream. Whatever reason you can think of, please just come to Gloria’s. You will love it”
Then the Sicilian arancini (risotto balls with bolognese sauce inside) which was a meal in itself, but impossible not to finish.
We followed with the slow cooked spaghetti alla bolognese and the controfiletto di manzo from the specials menu. The spaghetti was comforting and familiar, the benefit of the slow cooking evident in its richness.
The steak was served with peppercorn sauce, sauteed potatoes and the most delicious baked aubergine, cooked perfectly.
I cannot help but think that Gloria would be delighted
For dessert Sicilian lemon tart and vanilla ice cream served with Illy coffee – the perfect end to a really lovely meal. The gelato comes from The Works in Aylesbury and is possibly the best I have tasted in the UK. The desserts, supplied by Pasticceria Lorena, are indulgent and comforting.
The meal cost less than £100 for three courses, two glasses of wine and a cocktail and as we left at the end of our evening, we walked past a table with two little girls and their daddy. They were eating ice cream and chatting away. I cannot help but think that Gloria would be delighted.
So come for lunch, come for dinner, come for an ice cream. Whatever reason you can think of, please just come to Gloria’s. You will love it.
Gloria’s Café, Restaurant, Delicatessen, Restaurant, Delicatessen. 2 Greyhound Walk, Thame. OX9 3DY. https://caffegloria.com