Review: Blackfriars, Friars Street, Newcastle

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LET’S cut straight to the chase, Blackfriars is expensive.

The total bill for four of us came to £170, before the tip, and that was including some of the group opting for the cheaper set menu.

When deciding on an evening out there are plenty of other cheaper options that offer very delightful dining experiences.

However, putting the expenditure to one side, they do serve delicious food. In fact, they dish out some of the best grub I have tasted and this means I am more than happy to pay the money.

To start I had the pan-fried Cumbrian wood pigeon and having never tasted this particular bird before, I was a little nervous.

When it arrived on the table it looked nothing like the rats with wings we see scurrying around the city centre in their hundreds and actually looked very appetising.

It tasted just as good and was beautifully complemented with a raspberry vinaigrette.

I was then faced with the same dilemma I often have to overcome whenever I eat at a good restaurant – attempting to look further than the steak.

Having eaten at Blackfriars before I was well aware of the never-ending list of merits that come from consuming their Hadrian Heritage rib eye steak, even though it costs all of £21.

Even though I was faced with a big choice, I once again opted for the huge slice of cow that I always request to be cooked medium rare.

I was not disappointed. The steak at Blackfriars is a wonder to behold and with the chips and vegetables served alongside, makes a truly hearty main course.

So hearty in fact that I was left too full to order a dessert, an unusual event for me.

I was able to try a little bit of the sticky toffee pudding, served with banana ice cream and salted butter caramel, which really needs no introduction.

The selection of ales on offer is also a huge draw for me with a wide selection taken from breweries such as High House Farm and Wylam Brewery.

My personal favourite is Nel’s Best but, if like this time, they don’t have any in, then Tyneside Blonde is a very worthy replacement.

The atmosphere in the restaurant is also precisely what I look for – quiet, but with a nice murmur of conversation with very approachable and efficient staff.

So when dining here, and your heart skips a beat when the bill is placed on your table, take a moment to think back and appreciate the experience, as sadly it does not come cheap.