A year since it first opened its doors City Bistro, at Sunderland College’s city centre campus in Park Lane, is establishing itself as a destination on Sunderland’s growing restaurant scene.
The city has seen an exponential rise in the amount of independent restaurants opening in the last three years – a 23.4 per cent increase to be exact – and the people behind City Bistro are proud to be part of this foodie revolution.
“It’s great to see so many new restaurants opening in Sunderland,” head chef Kelvin Linstead enthuses.
“Culture is such a massive part of the city now and I think food goes hand-in-hand with this.
“We’re seeing so many new cultural opportunities here and independent restaurants are emerging because of this.”
The upsurge in Sunderland eateries is something that is welcomed by the team at City Bistro, and they’re keen to play a role in the restaurant renaissance.
“It’s all healthy competition in our eyes. We want Sunderland’s restaurant scene to flourish and it can only do that if we have a wide choice of good quality places to eat,” adds Kelvin, who has worked in the industry for 17 years.
As an experienced chef with stints in some of Newcastle’s most celebrated restaurants – including Peace and Loaf, Jesmond Dene House and Pan Haggerty - Kelvin has introduced a new dining element to the food scene in Sunderland.
“At City Bistro we pride ourselves on producing high end dishes that are made from scratch – from the bread we serve to the sauces used in our dishes and everything in between.
“You don’t get many restaurants that can say everything is freshly made and I think that’s what makes us stand out from the crowd.”
Kelvin, whose dishes are prepared by a team of students who work under him, added: “The reception we’ve had since we opened has been phenomenal.
“There’s been so much positivity around us opening and the fact that we’ve had so much good feedback makes us work even harder to produce top quality dishes.”
Kelvin is hoping there’s cause for more celebration in the future as the restaurant - which despite its college setting is open to the public - sets it sights on national recognition.
He said: “We’re aiming for an AA rosette and to be included in the Michelin Guide, and we’re all confident we can achieve this. It’s a really exciting time for us at the moment.”
For two weeks in November City Bistro will be celebrating its first birthday in style.
Kelvin and his team have created a special lunch menu for the occasion which will run from November 13 to 24, with a medley of dishes including grilled mackerel with beetroot, horseradish cream and watercress; root vegetable and goats cheese pithivier; and raspberry frangipane.
There will also be a series of themed evenings, including a beef and beer night.
Events taking place are:
•November 13 & 14 - three course lunch menu with a glass of wine for £12.50
•November 15 - City Salon and spa lunch for £25
•November 16 - 10 course beef and beer dinner from £35
•November 17 - seafood three course dinner with a glass of win for £25
•November 20 & 21 - three course lunch with a glass of wine for £12.50
•November 22 - afternoon tea party with Prosecco for £15
•November 23 - tapas night and 2-for-1 cocktails for £15
•November 24 - 10 course nose to tail pig night for £35
To book Tel. 0191 511 6270 or visit http://citycampus.site/bistro/