Bistro Romano – Cleadon Village Tyneside

Romano Minchella’s Italian restaurant

The Minchella reputation goes before itself in the North East (in part due to Toney Minchella’s award-winning ice-cream) but will Bistro Romano live up to expectations? LardButty takes an appetite and thirst, and finds out…


That Bistro Romano has no website, no online menu and no official presence on the web, yet is hugely popular (with every table taken on this particular evening) despite being located in a village 11 miles from central Newcastle, is indicative of this restaurant’s excellence.

K’s parents had booked a table for four at 7.30pm last Friday. Arriving early, we had a drink at the bar which has a wide range of spirits (I had a Martin Miller gin, K had a Caol Ila smoky malt whisky) before being seated at an appealing large round table in the window.

House wines start from £16 upwards (for a Sicilian dry white, for example) and we homed in on a bottle of Chardonnay reasonably priced at £18 a bottle. There’s an extensive menu (includes locally sourced beef, a variety of fish and seafood dishes and all kinds of pasta, with main courses ranging from £14 for pasta to £22 for steak) as well as a ‘Daily Specials’ list.

For starters I chose goats cheese and butternut parcels (really light flaky pastry packed with goats cheese) and K had a fishcake (made with risotto rice rather than mashed potato). Both were stunning, in presentation and taste.


IMG_6009_romanos_fishcake_risotto_starter
Fishcake starter – fish and risotto rice @ about £8


IMG_6010_butternut_goatscheese_parcels
Goats cheese + butternut parcels – starter pastries @ about £7


For main course, I chose sea bass from the Daily Specials list, described as ‘sea bass on a bed of roast Mediterranean vegetables served with crispy potatoes and a spicy tomato sauce’ (the sauce wasn’t at all spicy but was thoroughly tomato-ey and very good) as opposed to the sea bass option on the regular menu which was served with chorizo and crispy roast potatoes instead.


IMG_6017
Sea bass in ‘spicy’ tomato sauce with crispy potatoes – a Daily Special @ £18.90


K had baked cod, a substantial fillet that tore into light fish flakes, served with bacon and peas.


IMG_6012
Baked cod @ £18.90


The Turkish delight ice-cream was nicely different (if you like the rose water flavours of Turkish delight, which I do) although slightly ruined by what tasted like chocolate sauce from a plastic bottle (not fresh chocolate sauce) while K’s lime and panna cotta cheesecake was again, a little bit different, and a simply divine mix of cheese and lime flavours.


IMG_6019
Turkish delight ice-cream

IMG_6022
Lime + panna cotta cheesecake


Overall, this is a great restaurant. It may be off the beaten track but by the time we left, every table was full. With exceptionally friendly, helpful service, the atmosphere here is as good as the food and drink. Romano’s is all about the quality.


On another visit to Bistro Romano (to celebrate K’s parents’ ruby wedding, November 2013) K had a daily specials starter of Asian noodles (@ £6.90) – an outstanding blend of South East Asian flavours, utterly gorgeous! and medallions of fillet steak @ £22.90 for main course, while I had smoked haddock fishcake with a poached egg for starter @ £6.90 (sheer perfection) and roast belly pork @ £17.90 with the most perfectly crisp, thin piece of crackling.

Romanos_AsianNoodles_filletmedallions
Asian noodles + medallions of fillet steak


IMG_7133b_BellyPork
Roast belly pork with perfect, thin crackling (scratchings)


It was a Saturday evening; every table in the restaurant was taken. And everything was excellent for our party of eleven – all plates were served at the same time (immaculately), service was really friendly and efficient, and the food was stunning.


After several visits (where everything’s been excellent) the Lardbutty rating for Romano’s goes up to a top-ranking 5 out of 5.


Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 5 / 5
~ Type: Italian, British
~ Address: 63 Front Street, Cleadon Village
~ Postcode: SR6 7PG
~ Tel: 0191 519 1747
~ Website + menus: N/A
~ Bistro Romano photos on flickr
~ Location: Bistro Romano map
~ Minchella’s: Toney Minchella’s ice-cream


RELATED LINKS

More North East dining:
~ Cafe Bangla
~ Clarence Villa – home of Sonnet 43 brewhouse
~ Colman’s fish + chips – award winning chippy on Ocean Road, South Shields
~ Orangegrass – top Thai


Bistro Romano on Urbanspoon

About these ads

One Response

  1. […] nearby dining: ~ Romano’s – Italian bistro in Cleadon […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 647 other followers

%d bloggers like this: