REVIEW: Bistro Romano, Front Street, Cleadon Village

Bistro Romano,  Cleadon.
Bistro Romano, Cleadon.
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There are few Italian restaurants in the area whose name is held in such high regard as Romano’s – or Bistro Romano to give it its official title.

It’s a name I’ve heard bandied about for years – despite it having no online presence or obvious marketing schemes – and many of my friends claim it’s their favourite place to eat.

The food here must speak for itself?

Last week I decided to see just what all the fuss was about.

We were two of only a sprinkling of diners – but you don’t expect a restaurant in a village’s high street to be a hive of activity on a Monday night.

It’s a prettily-presented restaurant with immaculately laid-out tables with fresh flowers and splashes of orange hues dotted throughout.

It’s all very tasteful, a theme which is reflected in the menu. This must be the only Italian restaurant I’ve visited which doesn’t have pizza on the menu, but it makes up for it by offering more adventurous fare such as roast Gressingham duck breast with chorizo and spelt risotto (£18.90).

Price-wise, Romano’s isn’t cheap. On one hand, some of the main meals are competitively priced with the bulk of the pastas coming in under the £10 mark.

Yet other dishes seemed a little too expensive – £8.90 for a starter of parma ham and melon is twice the price I’ve seen it in other eateries.

To start, I chose the warm tomato and goats cheese tart (£6.90).

I was presented with plenty for my pounds – a generously-sized tart whose pastry was just the right side of crumbly, complemented by gloriously gooey goats cheese.

There were thumbs up from the other side of the table too – her choice from the specials board a feta cheese and butternut squash filo pastry parcel (£6.90) was a triumph. Rich and moreish, it hit the spot perfectly and looked so good I had to sample some myself.

My main meal was an equally impressive offering.

I’d gone for tiger prawn linguine (£11.90) and I was presented with a bountiful supply of al dente linguini which had just the right bite. It was wrapped around a good supply of prawns with a light dressing, which allowed the fresh taste of the pasta and prawns to shine.

This was Italian food at its best.

Service was polite and friendly, but not too in-your-face. Our waiter was particularly good at helping us choose a wine from an extensive list.

Our bill for two came to £54 with an ice-cream dessert to share.

Though not the cheapest place in which to dine, when it comes to reliably good food and seamless service, Romano’s have got it down to a tee.

Katy Wheeler

There are few Italian restaurants in the area whose name is held in such high regard as Romano’s – or Bistro Romano to give it its official title.

It’s a name I’ve heard bandied about for years – despite it having no online presence or obvious marketing schemes – and many of my friends claim it’s their favourite place to eat.

The food here must speak for itself?

Last week I decided to see just what all the fuss was about.

We were two of only a sprinkling of diners – but you don’t expect a restaurant in a village’s high street to be a hive of activity on a Monday night.

It’s a prettily-presented restaurant with immaculately laid-out tables with fresh flowers and splashes of orange hues dotted throughout.

It’s all very tasteful, a theme which is reflected in the menu. This must be the only Italian restaurant I’ve visited which doesn’t have pizza on the menu, but it makes up for it by offering more adventurous fare such as roast Gressingham duck breast with chorizo and spelt risotto (£18.90).

Price-wise, Romano’s isn’t cheap. On one hand, some of the main meals are competitively priced with the bulk of the pastas coming in under the £10 mark.

Yet other dishes seemed a little too expensive – £8.90 for a starter of parma ham and melon is twice the price I’ve seen it in other eateries.

To start, I chose the warm tomato and goats cheese tart (£6.90).

I was presented with plenty for my pounds – a generously-sized tart whose pastry was just the right side of crumbly, complemented by gloriously gooey goats cheese.

There were thumbs up from the other side of the table too – her choice from the specials board a feta cheese and butternut squash filo pastry parcel (£6.90) was a triumph. Rich and moreish, it hit the spot perfectly and looked so good I had to sample some myself.

My main meal was an equally impressive offering.

I’d gone for tiger prawn linguine (£11.90) and I was presented with a bountiful supply of al dente linguini which had just the right bite. It was wrapped around a good supply of prawns with a light dressing, which allowed the fresh taste of the pasta and prawns to shine.

This was Italian food at its best.

Service was polite and friendly, but not too in-your-face. Our waiter was particularly good at helping us choose a wine from an extensive list.

Our bill for two came to £54 with an ice-cream dessert to share.

Though not the cheapest place in which to dine, when it comes to reliably good food and seamless service, Romano’s have got it down to a tee.

Katy Wheeler