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Newcastle Dining

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Any suggestions for an evening meal out in Newcastle, up to £50 a head for food would be ok.

Apologies if this has been asked before.

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Jesmond Dene House should do it, though you'll need to steer clear of the lobster to keep it under £50. At the other extreme I've always enjoyed meals at Cafe Zonzo, where you could have enough left over for a bottle of barolo.

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Cafe 21 gets a good name for itself. I hear McCoys at the baltic is a bit hit and miss. Fishermans Lodge (Close to above mentioned jesmond dene hotel) was good when I went a year or two ago. Or you could try Henrys in Tynemouth??

The Black Door has closed, one of newcastles finest, though the team has now re-located to their sister place Brasserie Black Door. It was good when I went, not brilliant, if your based in town, it will be a taxi ride away as its in Jesmond rather than the center, only be 5 mins or so.

Hope this kinda helps.

Let us know how you get on.

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Cafe 21 on Trinity Gardens is terrific, classy brasserie food and superb service. If you're going for dinner, even on a Monday, it is worth booking. I was talking to their Operational Director at a wine tasting and he told me they had 120 in for dinner on Monday - astonishing for Newcastle.

Jesmond Dene House, also part of the Terry Laybourne "empire", is high end dining - very good, massive wine list, the only downside is that feeling of being in a hotel restaurant.

Caffe Vivo, another of Laybourne's, serves great Italian food at modest prices. I also recommend Amer's Restaurant in The Jesmond Hotel - lovely little place and a superb chef who was head chef at The Fisherman's Lodge for years.

All the above have their menus on their websites.

Finally, for great Sardinian cooking, the friendliest staff in the world, and a modest bill, go to Pani's in High Bridge. You will definitely leave with a smile on your face.

McCoys @ TheBaltic is closing this month - they are opening a new place in Moseley Street,Newcastle.


Edited by Alan Smeaton (log)

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I'll second all of the above... Jesmond Dene House is very comfortable with solid, polished food, while the Fisherman's Lodge is really quite an exciting place to eat, as it's in the middle of an splendid inner city park, totally isolated from the houses all around it.

Prices at both will be around £50 for three courses, and I'd say both are definitely worth it. (JDH got a new head chef this year, so I'd be interested if anyone's eaten there since he took over...)

I'd also warmly recommend the Grainger Rooms for some hearty, very seasonal and very local food. Local rare breed meats, masterly cooked bits of offal and a very respectable wine and ale list. Relaxed, good fun, with occasionally over-keen portions! Three courses were around £35 at our last visit.

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Ideas for a good lunch, not too pricey, easily accessible (by foot preferably) from the centre of Durham or Newcastle? Should be fairly relaxed, cuisine type not important so long as it's good. Am thinking it's probably best to go with good old Cafe 21.


Edited by camdan (log)

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Ideas for a good lunch, not too pricey, easily accessible (by foot preferably) from the centre of Durham or Newcastle? Should be fairly relaxed, cuisine type not important so long as it's good. Am thinking it's probably best to go with good old Cafe 21.

Pretty much all the places already listed would fit the bill, but I would agree that Cafe 21 hits the spot - Cafe 21 @Fenwicks would also be good for lunch. If in Durham, Bistro 21 is the place to go.

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I stayed at Jesmond Dene House Hotel a few weeks back as I was attending a conference in Newcastle.

I had the misfortune of trying the tasting menu.

Just a few highlights from my meal:

The amuse bouche of black bean veloute with tarragon foam. I had to have two sips just to check it truly was as horrible as I thought it was. I could make a more flavoursome stock by sitting in the bath for half an hour. I sent it back as being "really not very nice".

A fairly interminable wait for the first real course, although to be fair the waiters were good and offered me a paper to read.

A plate of asparagus saw some thin, tasteless spears seemingly grilled. The scaldingly hot plate (a recurring theme) served to congeal the (fairly nice) tasting mustard cream sauce. There was a redundant foam.

An oyster served on the half-shell smelt distictly fishy so I declined to eat it fearing the consequences. Apparently had a horseradish foam on top with a huge mass of sliced apple. I was asked "not really to your taste?"

Foie gras course was fine. A bitter cress salad had a very punchy dressing. Served with a bit of dry brioche, recognisable as the same stuff from breakfast. Walnut wine jelly didn't add anything.

John Dory. Slightly overcooked but not drastic. Came with actually a quite nice pasta which was in a bland creamy sauce which was particularly appreciated as I was craving carbs at this point, about 2 hours into the meal.

Beef with bone marrow. I sat alone with my beef fillet for some time until the waiter realised I had no cutlery. Beef was OK. Bone marrow unseasoned. Served with a disgusting attempt at panisse, dry, unseasoned, nasty. Thick sauce congealed with the massive heat of the plate. Thick reduction was at least a reservoir of salt for the other underseasoned items.

Pre-dessert was introduced as an amuse bouche. Can't remember anything about it other than it being horrid.

Lemon cheesecake. The topping was piped onto a shortbread biscuit in the style of a beach lilo. Not great.

The best thing about the meal was the overheard conversation of two increasingly drunk businessmen who were having a seriously emo time together.

I read that Jesmond Dene recently went their separate ways with Terry Layborne (http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/02/18/332320/Terry-Laybourne-to-sell-stake-in-Jesmond-Dene-House.htm) which perhaps explains the woeful meal I endured here. Avoid.


Edited by nickloman (log)

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sorry your meal wasn't great, but I really enjoyed reading your review!

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yikes .... what with JDH getting 3 rosettes, i thought it may have been better. We had a great meal at hei hei . A nice asian restaurant in the city.

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I'm in the area for work reasons for two nights in February - I'm not sure where to book my accommodation, because that will depend on where I go for my food ...

The place I will be working in is in North Shields, which doesn't look very good for neither B&Bs nor food. I'm looking for somewhere which will do takeaway food (because I really don't enjoy eating alone in a restaurant) - so probably Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi, Thai, Chinese, Turkish, decent kebabs, Indonesian etc etc, or even somewhere which does excellent pizza. But I somehow think my mission will be fruitless. My preference would be for somewhere in N. Shields, Tynemouth or Whitley Bay, but will stay in Newcastle city centre if there are no options. If someone out there knows of a nice B&B very near to good eateries along these lines, that would be a real bonus ...

If you are stuck for takeaways, but can suggest a particularly nice place where I wouldn't feel self conscious eating alone, that might be something I'd consider.

Oh, and it needs to be reasonably priced - I work for a charity, expenses aren't generous and I don't have much surplus cash to bump up the budget ... I don't mind spending between £10 and £20 each night on the food.

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We're really not spoiled for choice up in Newcastle, even high end places like the Jesmond Dene House leave a lot to be desired. Most good food around here I make it myself.

However one nice place that hasn't been mentioned is Little Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant in Bigg Market (city centre). Quite genuine compared to the other generic Asian eateries around, the food is fresh and not greasy.

See http://www.littlesaigon.uk.com/ for details.

Outside central Newcastle, in the places you mentioned, the best option would be fish and chips :-)


Edited by Brainfoodie (log)

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