WHEN it comes to dishing up classic Italian food with flair this is a restaurant that does it with gusto.
Away from the main drag of the Quayside, in the shadow of the more landmark venue Pitcher and Piano, it has to be one of the largest restaurants in Newcastle.
Spanning two floors, joined by a sweeping spiral staircase, this is a restaurant that has a touch of the Great Gastbys about it. Art Deco
lines, a sea of low hanging lighting and quilted leather booths you can sink into create an air of laid-back elegance.
While the theme may borrow from one of modern American literature’s greatest novels, the food is distinctly Mediterranean. It’s a
handful: a vast range of antipasti, pizza, pasta, seafood, salads and plenty of meaty additions.
All the Italian classics are there, but it’s upped the ante with more unusual options such as the Truffle Verdi pizza loaded with courgette
and goats cheese with a truffle dressing, red chard and pea base (£10.50).
Feeling all continental, we chose a deli board sharer to start.
This is a pick ‘n’ mix of morsels with options you can tailor to your tastes. For £6.95 a piece, you can each choose three options from the cured meats or Italian cheese sections.
A chunky board practically over-flowing with rustic produce was soon winging its way to our table. The subtle mix of flavours was
added to with satisfying wedges of warm rosemary foccacia and a tangy tomato chutney.
For mains, I chose steak. The chargrilled fillet steak comes in a ladylike 6oz or a more meaty 10oz.
I chose the former, which is priced £20.95, a price point I’d expect for this dish, and was presented with a thick hunk of meat.
I’d ordered it rare and it was just that: juicy, soft and spongy with only the slightest of resistance as I slid through it with my knife.
The wine list is as extensive as the food menu and our waiter was great in suggesting a tipple which would complement our menu choices.
Prices range from £16.50 for a crisp Novita Trebbiano to an eye-watering £195 for the high-rollers after some vintage champagne.