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I have often passed this place in the Bigg market, and last night sat 23th March decided to pop in, picked the set menu for 2 at £18.50 each plus a bottle of wine, we were the first in and sat in the window at 5:00pm food came quickly 3 starters and rice on one plate which was actually quite good and tasty, 3 mains arrived together, and I hate this as by you get to the second and third they go cold, so in future would order individually, now the rub is, there was as mentioned in previous reviews NO mention of no credit card payments at the start, only on presentation of the bill, again machine is broken, this looks like a popular scam with this place, and a sign should be put in the door stating this fact it is cash only, Any large parties arriving may get caught out.
Written Mar 24, 2013
Address: Bigg Market Newcastlr
Some years ago we had a good meal in the previous restaurant to occupy this spot, Oldfields, so recently decided to try its successor. We have been told by a relative who lives locally and knows the owner that this is under the same management, but inside it is completely transformed, with dark wood, coloured lighting and some cosy booths. The menu has a fairly wide selection of favourites including pasta dishes, burgers, steaks, chicken and fish of various sorts.
On this occasion we shared a starter of crispy potato skins with two dips – garlic mayonnaise and barbeque sauce. Both were tasty, and the portion of skins big enough for two of us. For his main course Chris had linguine with spicy meatballs, which he really enjoyed (the Napolitano sauce was especially good) and I had some very good Thai-style fishcakes. These are usually served with chips but the waitress was happy to substitute a mixed salad as I felt the chips would be potato overkill!
With Chris’s bottle of beer and my medium glass of red wine the bill came to a reasonable £31 without service. I would be happy to come back here. There is also a bar area serving cocktails and although fairly quiet on our Saturday lunch-time visit I imagine it could get a lot busier in the evenings.
Updated Mar 22, 2013
Address: Milburn Hse, Dean St., Newcastle, NE1 1LF
Phone: 0191 232 3200
THIS RESTAURANT HAS NOW CHANGED HANDS BUT I'M LEAVING THIS REVIEW AS A RECORD FOR MYSELF.
To read about the new restaurant on this site, check out my review of Oak
Looking for somewhere a little bit special for lunch we came across Oldfields, a relatively new addition to the Newcastle restaurant scene. Located in a Victorian block on the steep hill of Dean Street as it leads down from the city centre to the Quayside, the interior decor has been designed to bring out the best in this oddly shaped building. You enter down a short flight of steps into a circular room with a cosy atmosphere. When we were there this was the only one of the three dining areas in use, but further exploration after our meal revealed the smaller area in front of the pass, and a much larger room at the back. Walls are decorated with some interesting old photos showing the construction of this building in 1904, and I was also fascinated by the original plans that had been framed and hung in the back dining room - do check them out if you come here to eat.
We were warned when we arrived that because a large party (clearly an office outing) had just been seated, there would be a delay in serving us, but if we were happy to wait ten minutes or so they would get to us as soon as possible. Meanwhile we could have a drink at our table, nicely situated against one wall with a view of the rest of the room and its lovely old fireplace. We agreed to this, but our one gripe about the place was that no one then arrived to take our order for said drink so that in the end I had to chase down a waiter to ask for two glasses of wine. But when the wine, a good merlot, did arrive it was accompanied by friendly apologies which were repeated several more times during our meal. And when we came to pay at the end we found that the wine wasn't on our bill and on querying this were told that it was on the house - so all was more than forgiven!
Favorite Dish: At lunch time (and pre-theatre) there is a set menu - £10 for two courses, £15 for three. On studying this I realised that while many of the starters appealed to me I was less enthused by the mains. I asked if I could have two of the former and was told that was indeed possible, and that my "main" course starter would be served in a larger portion. I therefore chose smoked salmon with capers to start with, followed by black pudding on toast with fried egg (which was doubled up as promised). Chris started with the soup of the day, a warming vegetable broth, and then had the potato dumplings with a blue cheese sauce. He enjoyed the soup and accompanying bread, but found the main course a little salty. Overall though we were impressed by our meal and the friendliness of the service, and will be back.
Oldfields prides itself on sourcing all its food locally and the menu is short but appealing, with an emphasis on traditional British dishes such as sausages, braised beef, fish and chips etc. If you like basics done well and with a little flair, this could be the place for you. Throw in the strong sense of history in the old photos and decor, and I think the owners are on to a winner.
Updated Mar 22, 2013
Address: Milburn House, Dean Street
Phone: 0191 212 1210
This Italian restaurant has been in this location at the top of The Side for as long as I have been visiting Newcastle (about 33 years) and probably much longer. We used to come here from time to time but haven’t been for a long while, and in the meantime the décor has been modernised and the menu updated. But it remains a firm local favourite, and visiting recently on a Friday evening we had to wait about 10 minutes to get a table when other nearby restaurants were nearly empty.
Having got that table, in one of the small upstairs rooms, we perused the menu and chose to share some olives and Italian breads to start with – both good and in generous portions. My main dish of bucatini arrabiatta was also on the large side and had a good flavour. Chris enjoyed his wild mushroom risotto although it was maybe a little heavy on the garlic. With a bottle of beer and large glass of good red wine we paid £33.10 (not including service).
Written Mar 22, 2013
Address: 33 Dean St., Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1PQ
Phone: 0191 232 5533
This is our latest Newcastle restaurant discovery, and a very good one! It's located in a former warehouse just off the Quayside, near the Law Courts, and has lots of character and an interesting menu. It's probably a little dearer than other Italian restaurants in the city, but judging by what we ate on this visit, the quality is higher too.
Favorite Dish: We decided to share a starter and chose the Chargrilled Calamari with Chilli, Lemon & Rocket. These were really excellent with bags of flavour - just as you might expect in a Mediterranean fishing village! For a main course I had the Pappardelle with Chicken Livers, Golden Onions & Sage, another fantastic dish, though with more pasta than I could eat. The chicken livers were cooked just right, almost melting in the mouth, and the sage was very flavoursome. Chris's Saffron Risotto with Luganega Sausage was perhaps a tad over-salted, but he enjoyed it nevertheless. We were too full for dessert but I'll try to make room on a future visit as they sound wonderful!
We spent a little under £50 - quite pricey for Italian food in Newcastle but worth the extra for something a little more special than you'll find elsewhere. And there's a more reasonable fixed-price menu on weekday evenings - £15.50 for two courses, £18.50 for three.
Written Jan 12, 2013
Address: 29 Broad Chare, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3DQ
Phone: 0191 232 1331
This is real Italian Pizza By The Slice in The Grainger Market in Newcastle city centre. The Grainger Market is not glamorous and sells some cheap rubbish but also has some great deli's bakers and craft stalls. These are fixed "stalls" more like shops. Pizza By The Slice is a new addition to the market.
Choose what pizza you want and pay about £1.75/£2 a slice. Go for cheese and tomato or chicken, sausage or veggie. Real thin base just like i've had in Naples. Last time i was there a huge family of italians where getting their slices in front of me. Drinks available. Either walk round with your slice or stand at one of the two tables available. Pizza is served on a paper plate which is then put in a bag. Friendly fast staff.
Favorite Dish: Got to be the margarita pizza slice.
Written Oct 28, 2012
Address: The Grainger Market, Newcastle upon Tyne
This is a nice Italian restaurant in Newcastle city centre. It does get very busy even on weekday nights so i would recommend you book a table. I have been going to this restaurant for years and have always enjoyed the food. A few years back it had a make over and now looks smart and presentable. It has quite a romantic feel as it is not too bright and they light candles on the tables in the evening. Alhtough I tend to meet with friends here so it's not like it's couples only ;)
There is a small bar area for you to sit and have a drink if you arrive early or have to wait for a table.
I hav enever had a problem with service here. The staff have little hand held computer/devices that they put the order into and i have always found them efficent and friendly.
Selling the usual italian fayre i think it is very reasonably priced. At about £8-9 a pizza the reastaurant feels more up market than the pricing. They also have a childrens menu priced at £4.95. I must admit i have never seen any children in here in the evenings but the website does say they are child friendly.
Favorite Dish: I love the pizzas. My favourite is the Fiorentina
(Italian blue cheese, pine nuts, baby spinach & a free range egg) priced at £8.25
Written Oct 28, 2012
Address: 33 Dean Street Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1PQ
Phone: 0191 232 5533
This is a typical italian with pizza, pasta and meat/fish dishes. Seems to be run by genuine italians.
I first went to this restaurant a few years ago and found it basic but tasty. I returned a few weeks ago with a friend. I was very disappointed. The service was extreamly slow. The starter took a very long time to arrive (about 45 mins) and when it did arrive it was stone cold. Main course arrived in due course and was tasty. We were not offered dessert. This restaurant seems to survive soley on groupon/living social vouchers which is never a good sign.
The one good thing i can think to say about it was that they had lots (and lots) of daily specials.
I don't want to be unkind but there are much better italians nearby i.e. Marco Polo and Portofino's
Favorite Dish: I had a veggie calzone main which was OK
Written Oct 28, 2012
Address: 3 Market street, Newcastle upon Tyne
Phone: 0191 232 6171
This is a good Spanish restaurant specialising in tapas, situated in an interesting old building (a former Victorian office block I believe) near the Castle Keep. The waiting staff are friendly, the space attractive, the food good and the prices very reasonable. Being slightly away from any main thoroughfare it is also less busy than some other city centre restaurants, so all in all is a real find.
I really liked the room and overall ambiance. The minimum seems to have been done to what must have once been a clerks’ office or similar, and it has plenty of character while being quite light and spacious. Tables are well spaced out and there’s a separate bar, ideal for a drink while waiting for all your party to arrive or for a table to become available (though this wasn’t necessary on the Sunday evening of our visit).
Favorite Dish: We visited with a cousin of Chris’s and between the three of us enjoyed a good selection of tapas, including excellent calamari with good light batter and a garlic mayonnaise, a dish of lamb cooked in a wine and tomato sauce, chorizo fried with potatoes and eggs, meatballs and mushrooms.
Our six tapas dishes, plus a basket of crusty baguette, were just the right amount to leave us feeling pleasantly full; however we had already had a good sized lunch that day, so hungry eaters might want one or two more dishes. With two drinks each (four glasses of the house Rioja, two pints of draft San Miguel) we paid only £54 in total (not including service) – very good value indeed.
Written Aug 30, 2012
Address: Milburn House, Side, Newcastle NE1 1PR
Phone: 0191 233 1122
There has been a high-quality restaurant at this address for some time, but we had never got round to visiting. Staying nearby recently, we spotted that it had changed hands, and that there was an early bird menu offer that sounded tempting £14.95 for two courses and £17.95 for three. This menu is available from 12.00pm - 2.30pm & 5.30pm - 7.00pm Monday to Friday, and 12.00pm - 2.15pm & 5.00pm - 6.30pm on Saturdays. So we went along about 6.45pm on a Wednesday and found the place already a little busy. Later it got much more so – it is clearly popular not only for this special deal but also for its full price menu.
We were welcomed by a friendly waiter and given a nice table by the window. The décor here is subdued and stylish, with a central bar dividing the space into two, “heritage” paint colours and dark wood furnishings.
Favorite Dish: The set menu is fairly limited but we both found dishes that appealed to us. My mackerel starter (served on a basil risotto) was by far my favourite – beautifully cooked and with an excellent flavour. Chris had some spicy little sausages with harissa and couscous, which he also enjoyed. For mains we both chose gnocchi with roasted tomatoes. The latter were packed with flavour but the gnocchi unlike any either of us has ever had – disc-shaped and rather dry, though again with a good flavour. Portions were on the small side (perhaps reasonably given the low prices) so we both opted for a dessert – I had a very good bread and butter pudding with ice cream and a super caramel sauce, and Chris had the cheese board (just three cheeses – a cut-down version of the five on the main menu).
With a shared side salad to accompany the mains, and a large glass of wine each, the total bill was £57.42. I loved the space, and the starter and dessert, but I think we’ll wait to go back for an occasion when we want to splash out on the full menu.
Written Apr 22, 2012
Address: 21 Queen St, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3UG
Phone: 0191 221 0904
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