Out of all the tens of thousands of Italian restaurants in England, only a few make it through to the finals of the annual Italian Awards.
At this year’s ceremony, held in Manchester, Bellini in Seaburn Dene and Mamma Mia in Whitburn walked away with runner up awards.
Bellini came runner up in the Best Pasta category, while Mamma Mia was Highly Commended in The Best Italian Restaurant Under 50 Seats award.
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Aban Tahmassebi from Bellini, said: “Myself and all of the staff at Bellini are delighted to win the national runner up award for best pasta. This award would not have been possible without the fantastic support of all of the customers that voted for us, thank you so much.
“Special thanks to head chef Oliviero, who produced a beautiful pasta for the judges and we will be back next year to try and go one better.”
Alessandro Murrini from Mamma Mia said: “Being recognised on a national level has been a very exciting and humbling experience because the competition was very tough.
“The fact that so many of our customers believed and supported us and the great feedback from the judges means that our team's hard work and dedication in trying to offer something homemade and authentic is really appreciated.”