YOU will feel right at home at one of Greenock’s newest eateries.

The former Argyll and Sutherland at the corner of Bruce Street and Inverkip Street has been transformed into trendy family-run pub-diner Nicolson’s.

In the first of the Tele’s new regular food reviews, it was only fitting we visited one of Inverclyde’s freshest restaurants.

The place is barely recognisable as you step foot through the door.

It has undergone a dramatic refurbishment and is now an upmarket but cosy gastro-pub with a dining area, cocktail bar, beer garden, live music and a dog-friendly policy.

A warm welcome was extended to me and my undercover accomplice from the team, led by experienced Greenock publican Tommy Frizzel and his son Michael, before we relaxed in the ‘best seat in the house’— next to the window looking out to Inverkip Street watching the world go by.

It was surprisingly busy for early on a Thursday night, although we soon found out why. Nice surroundings, a variety of lagers and real ales, an extensive cocktail list, a tempting food menu and friendly service — Nicolson’s ticks all the boxes.

I settled down with a pint of Birra Moretti while my good lady enjoyed an old favourite, a French Martini, as we were spoilt for choice for what to eat.

Luckily, that tough decision was taken out of our hands as we were treated to samples of three of the best-selling starters.

The sumptuous stack of haggis, black pudding and potato fritters, served with creamy peppercorn sauce, was deliciously light and crispy, as were the juicy chicken and fish goujons, accompanied by sweet chilli and tartar dipping sauces.

Beef chilli nachos completed the hat-trick — and there wasn’t a bag of Doritos in sight.

Fresh tortillas are cut into triangles and hand-cooked on the premises every day, glorious for scooping up the home-made chilli, guacamole, salsa and sour cream medley.

Suitably filled to the brim, Tommy and the team insisted that we try their signature main, steak sandwich.

Like the starters, it was freshly cooked and on the table in no time and, to our surprise, was also accompanied by a comforting bowl of another Nicolson’s speciality, mac and cheese.

If you like big portions then you’re in luck, although smaller plates are available on request - shame we only found out about that when it was too late.

We gave it our all with the mains but barely scratched the surface if truth be told.

All the dishes were cooked to perfection and packed full of flavour.

It was also pleasing to discover one local business supporting another with all meat supplied by nearby butcher, Duncan MacKenzie.

In fact, Tommy and his team try to source all their ingredients locally where possible, including dough from Gianni’s Fish & Chip Shop just around the corner for the pizzas that were on a previous menu.

We were told the Oreo cheesecake is ‘to die for’ - and I don’t doubt that for a second - but dessert wasn’t humanly possible after our feast.

I’ll be sure to make room for it next time.

Instead, another pint and a Haribo-themed ‘Tangtastic’ cocktail brought a close to a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Tommy, Michael and co have hit the ground running since opening just a few short months ago and it’s easy to see why.

They’ve come up with a perfect blend of good food, drink and service mixed with regular entertainment throughout the week and served in a laid-back environment.

FACT FILE: Nicolson’s Bar & Kitchen, 1 Bruce Street, Greenock. 
Phone 01475 321732