Sunderland restaurant owner is first What’s On Where nominee

Aban Tahmassebi of Belini's, Dovedale Road, Seaburn Dene, Sunderland, What's On Where award nominee
Aban Tahmassebi of Belini's, Dovedale Road, Seaburn Dene, Sunderland, What's On Where award nominee
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A RESTAURANT boss told of his delight after he became the first nomination in this year’s What’s On Where awards.

Aban Tahmassebi is the sole owner of Bellini at Dovedale Road in Seaburn Dene, which has become a huge hit with clients since it opened around two years ago.

One customer was so impressed, they nominated Bellini for the What’s On Where award which aims to reward the elite in everything from restaurants to children’s venues, takeaways to parks and community areas, and hotels to the best shopping experience.

The awards are held in association with our weekly entertainments guide, Wow 24/7, and aim to reward the elite in everything from restaurants to children’s venues, takeaways to parks and community areas, and hotels to the best shopping experience.

They are run by the Sunderland Echo and Shields Gazette across Wearside and South Tyneside and we’re hoping for readers to put in hundreds of entries for their own favourites in 13 different categories.

Aban said he was “ecstatic” to be the first in the running thanks to his restaurant which has 20 staff, 100 covers and specialises in traditional authentic Italian cuisine.

He has more than a decade’s experience in the restaurant trade. He and his father Houshang Tahmassebi ran Sale Pepe at Jesmond in Newcastle for many years.

Aban said: “I just wanted to try something new. There is a lot of competition in Jesmond and that was also a much smaller restaurant than this one is.

“This is a bigger place. We have been open for two years and been constantly busy and growing.

“We are getting busier and we are getting people in who have not been here before.”

Two nominations for Bellini were submitted within minutes of the awards getting under way.

One said: “Customer service is amazing. Always makes you feel welcome. Food is great and reasonable prices too. Would recommend this restaurant to anyone.”

And the second commented: “From food to ambience to the staff, it knocks spots off anywhere else in the region.”

There is plenty of time for people to put nominations in for their own favourites.

We want to attract a top-class list of contenders to match the first-class venue for the awards.

Send in your entries and put your favourites in the running. And if there’s more than one cause that you love, put them all in the running and make the judges job really hard.

•Enter your nominations here