Tag Archives: jesmond

Zio Bar – Jesmond

Zio bar is attached to Fratello’s restaurant on Jesmond Road, Jesmond, and is easily accessible from Osborne Road by walking, or Bus and Metro Links.  Regular readers may recall my original Zio Bar post which was written back in April when I first visited, we were so impressed with this visit that we decided to pop back for more food and less alcohol!

At the time of our visit Zio bar were still offering £3 cocktails and we both decided it was too good an offer to pass on.

I decided to go for a Classic Mojito which consists of Havana Club Especial rum, churned with fresh lime, mint and crushed ice topped with soda water

Mr Gourmand had the Stormy Mojito which consisted of Gosling Black rum and ginger beer.

Both drinks were very refreshing and a complete bargain at £3 each!

I ordered the Chicken Burger which was moist and succulent, it was a whole butterflied chicken breast so was very filling.  The burger was served with hand cut chips and salsa.  I did find the chips a little dry which I think was possibly down to them being twice or maybe even thrice cooked.

Mr Gourmand ordered the Bacon Burger which was served with handcut chips and tomato salsa, the burger itself was delicious and was polished off in record time.

If you want a night out in Jesmond and would rather avoid Osborne Road or are looking for a quiet drink before heading into the city centre I highly recommend Zio Bar.

Firenze Jesmond

The last time I visited Firenze was with my mother in law, Mr Gourmand was in Australia with his father at the time and being a man who doesn’t like to fee like he has missed out he insisted I take him to Firenze for lunch.

The restaurant is very contemporary, light and spacious meaning it’s perfect for a romantic meal or dinner with a group of friends.

Mr Gourmand started with the Asparagus wrapped in Parma ham drizzled with lemon oil, the asparagus was sweet and crisp and the salad was a welcome accompaniment to the dish.

I started with the potato skins which were served with a garlic mayo and smoked paprika dip.  The skins were crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside, perfect!

My main course was the Pan seared chicken breast served with a pepper sauce and roasted vegetables.  The vegetable dish was huge and more than enough for two people never mind one person!  The chicken was moist and the pepper sauce really complimented the dish.

Mr Gourmand picked the Pan seared sea bass which was served with buttered and crushed new potatoes with olive oil.  Thankfully I had more than enough vegetables to share otherwise this dish would have been a little boring.

Mr Gourmand was the only one with room for a dessert and chose the warmed chocolate brownie with ice cream which he assured me was delicious.

Firenze is situated in the courtyard off Holly Avenue West, Jesmond

Scalini’s Jesmond

I wrote about one of my previous Scalini’s visits here,  after reading this Mr Gourmand decided he might like to try the restaurant out for himself.  When the lovely British weather decides to play nice it’s lovely to sit outside having dinner with a nice cold glass of wine.

As you can see I got my wish, we actually had a lovely warm day so the Family Gourmand headed up the road to Scalini’s

Mini Gourmand and myself had the Potato Skins (£4.75) which were served with a Garlic Mayo and BBQ dip, we both struggled to keep Mr Gourmand’s fork out of our plate though!

Mr Gourmand went for the Bruschetta Pommodoro (£3.75) this didn’t look as impressive as the one Mini Gourmand had on our last visit, I can never understand how restaurants can’t keep up the same standard of food, a little balsamic glaze and a bit of rocket can make a dish look so much better.

Mr Gourmand’s main course was the Ravioli Di Granchio (£8.95) which was pasta parcels filled with Ricotta and Crab.  This was an unusual dish for Mr Gourmand to pick as I’ve never seen him order ravioli, he found the pasta to be cooked perfectly and the sauce complimented the filling.

Mini Gourmand picked the Lasagna Al Forno (£7.95) which as always was far too large for her but she did make a good effort to finish it (Mr Gourmand did actually help her out)

I picked the Rustica Pizza (£7.50) which was topped with tomato, goat’s cheese, roast peppers, rocket and parmesan.  This was a delicious pizza and surprisingly filling.

On Monday – Thursday all day, Friday 12pm-7pm, Saturday 12pm – 6pm and Sunday 6pm – 10pm Scalini’s have a meal deal special where you can enjoy 2 courses for £5.95 or three courses for £6.95

Scalini’s can be found at:

61 Osborne Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne.

Fratello’s Jesmond

Mr Gourmand and I had heard mixed reviews about Fratello’s so as it’s just a stones throw away from our house we decided to pop in and check it out for ourselves.
Mr Gourmand had visited the restaurant while dropping his parents off there a number of months prior to our visit and was surprised at how much the interior had changed, we found out off a waitress that the restaurant had gone through a recent refurbishment and Mr Gourmand agreed that it looked a lot more sleek and contemporary.
We decided to go for the house wine which is often just as good as any when you’re not a wine connoisseur (which neither of us are), as Rose wine goes this was actually rather nice.
A bread basket was placed on the table and I must admit I was rather shocked that there was only two small pieces of bread.  I personally love bread and one piece is never enough!
We picked the Marinated Olives (2.95) as one of our starters, quite often restaurants can get something so simple like a bowl of olives so wrong, these olives however were lovely, lots of flavour, plump and juicy, just how I like them.
The Brushetta (£3.50) was topped with a mix of tomato, garlic and red onion.  The bread was crisp, the tomatoes tangy and the rocket salad was beautifully dressed.
I was really looking forward to my Pizza main course after viewing the impressive wood burning Pizza oven.
The Frutti Del Mare Pizza (£9.95) had a super thin base which tasted delicious, I would never usually pay over £6 for a pizza and although the seafood was fresh and the whole pizza was very tasty it was not exceptional enough for me to warrant paying £3 more than I would usually pay for a pizza.
Mr Gourmand picked the Risotto Marinara (£12.95) which was delicious, I managed to grab a small fork of the creamy rice before Mr Gourmand devoured the whole bowl.  There was a fair amount of seafood in the risotto but only one scallop.
Our Waitress had recommended that we order a side of hand cut chips which were actually amazing!  Some people will argue that hand cut chips are just chips but these were something else!
If you are staying at the attached hotel or visiting Zio bar for drinks it will be the perfect place for you to go for food if you don’t wish to venture into Jesmond or Newcastle for a meal.
Fratello’s Italian Restaurant
Jesmond Road,
Newcastle upon Tyne

Cafe 1901 Jesmond

Cafe 1901 is situated in the old church hall on St Georges terrace in Jesmond.  I must admit I wasn’t very pleased when this cafe first opened as the youth club my daughter used to attend was closed down because of the cafe, I guess money is more important than community for the owners of the church? Anyway I digress, that was a few years ago and I’ve visited the cafe a few times with my mother and always been on the fence about the place so I decided to take Mr Gourmand for a coffee.

The cafe has huge high ceilings which are very impressive, I do apologise for the darkness of the photographs, the hall has very low lighting and it’s really difficult to get a good photo.  This kind of place always makes me feel really tired, they could do with some natural light lightbulbs!

There is a large range of drinks, cakes, hot and cold food on offer but if I’m being honest I think it’s rather expensive!

Mr Gourmand ordered a flat white coffee (£2.00) an odd choice for him as the Filter Coffee is usually the coffee of choice for the Gourmands!

I had my usual filter coffee (£2.00) it was nice coffee but nothing special as coffee goes.

I decided to have a slice of coffee and walnut cake (£3.00)  unfortunately the sponge was rather dry, I would have liked to have more buttercream sandwiching the cake together rather than the inch of icing on the top (yes an inch, I measured it).

Mr Gourmand had a cheese scone (£2.20) I can never understand why cafes serve microwaved warm cheese scones, I’d rather have mine cold as the microwave makes a scone taste like cardboard which this one did!

On this occasion I wasn’t impressed with Cafe 1901, there are many better places out there to go for a quick cup of coffee and a cake!

Desserts Delivered

Desserts Delivered is a brand new concept to Newcastle upon Tyne, opening on Saturday 28th April 2012 local residents are in for a treat.

The owners felt there was a gap in the market and nobody specialised in desserts and treats.  Not everybody want’s to order savoury fast food, sometimes you just need a sweet treat and that’s exactly what Desserts Delivered offer.

 Having contacts in America that can provide american soda and candy that is not available in the UK is a genius idea.  I personally love both the soda and candy from america and wish it was more readily available here.  Award winning bakers are providing all the cakes, brownies and waffles so Desserts Delivered hope everyone is going to enjoy this amazing new idea!

To start off with Desserts Delivered will deliver to Newcastle Quayside, Jesmond, sandyford, Byker and Heaton but may add more areas depending on demand.

Opening hours are 6pm – 1am Monday – Thursday, 6pm – 2am Friday – Saturday and 6pm – 12pm Sunday

There is a minimum order of £8 and a delivery charge of £1

To place an order call: 0191 2761375

Desserts Delivered can be found on twitter: @DessertsDeliver

Facebook: Desserts Delivered

Reuben Burger

I love a good Reuben Burger, I’m always surprised how many different adaptations there are depending on which country you go to.  Some people use Sauerkraut, some use swiss cheese, some use russian dressing.

My Reuben Burger would usually have sauerkraut as an ingredient but as I didn’t have any at the time of making I left it out.  I don’t use pastrami, I find it has too strong a flavour when used with a burger.  I do however use pastrami in a Reuben deli sandwich.

I purchased my burgers from the Meat Merchant in Jesmond, sometimes it’s easier to buy a good burger than make one yourself, especially when you’re only cooking for two!

I used a Ciabatta bun, lightly toasted topped with a slice of Swiss cheese, this was topped with grilled peppers.  The burger was placed on top and another slice of Swiss cheese was added.  Lettuce, dill pickles and a home made Russian dressing finished the burger off.

Uncle Zio Decided To Open A Bar!

From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the leafy suburbs of Jesmond – meet Uncle Zio.

As Zio bar is a short walk from our house, Mr Gourmand and I decided to visit during a sunny Friday afternoon.  We had already eaten a fairly large lunch but decided to try out one of the snacks on offer to go with our cocktails.

The Nachos came with what tasted like a home made guacamole, salsa and sour cream dip.  The jalapeños were spiced just right and the dish really complemented our iced drinks.

I started off with a Watermelon Cooler £5.50

Melon liqueur mixed with Barcadi rum, Orange and Cranberry juice and a dash of lime.  This cocktail tasted delicious, not too sweet just perfect for a sunny day.

My second choice was the Elderflower Crush £6.25

A mixture of Gran Marnier and Elderflower Liqueur balanced with lime, soda and crushed ice.  A beautiful drink, my favourite yet!

The Basil Grande £6.25 was Mr Gourmands choice,  he’s man enough to drink out of a martini glass without looking girly which is a good job because this cocktail could not have screamed woman anymore!  The red colour was due to the Chambord black raspberry liqueur combined with Grand marnier and vodka finished off with a basil leaf and a good grind of black pepper.

The Ginger Jack £5.95 was our final cocktail.

Jack Daniels with a touch of honey and apple juice finished off with some fiery ginger.  A warming yet sweet tasting drink which would be delicious to drink while sitting in front of a log fire!

The good news is that selected cocktails are currently £3 and food is all 1/2 price but you need to get there fast as this is a limited offer!

You can find Zio Bar on Jesmond Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1PR

Open from Noon until 2am


Sunshine and Ice-Cream

Last week here in Newcastle upon Tyne we had the most beautiful weather, it’s a stark contrast to the weather this week which has been a mixture of rain, wind, snow and hail, anyway I digress.  During the sunbathing weather we decided to have dinner out rather than cook in the house and Mini Gourmand was promised an Ice-Cream from her favourite Ice-Cream parlour Archers.

I don’t usually eat Ice-Cream unless it’s dairy free as my stomach can’t tolerate it but I made an exception when I saw that a Turkish Delight flavour was on offer.  This must have been a very popular flavour as I got the last two scoops available!

The ice cream had a very delicate rose flavour with small flakes of dark chocolate coming through every now and again.  This is an Ice-Cream to recommend, it’s a perfect flavour for summer, creamy rich and delicious.

When Mini Gourmand ordered the Ice-Cream Sundae I had no doubt in my mind that she would leave half of it, after all she had just polished off a two course italian meal only 15 minutes prior to arriving at Archers.

The Ice-Cream Sundae was filled with Jersey Ice-Cream, Strawberry Ice-Cream, Strawberry coulis, Fresh Strawberries, Fresh Cream and a wafer, a mammoth dessert for anyone including an 11 year old child!

Neither Mr Gourmand or Myself helped in the destruction of this Ice-Cream Sundae, it was all Mini Gourmand’s work!  Gourmand by name Gourmand by nature!

Archer’s Ice Cream Parlour can be found on Acorn Road, Jesmond and is open from 11am – 8pm Monday to Friday, 10am – 8pm Saturday and 12pm – 8pm Sunday

Firenze Jesmond

Firenze is situated in the courtyard off Holly Avenue West, Jesmond it’s actually just at the top of our street yet this was my first visit!

It’s not very often that I get to dine with Mr Gourmands mother, we are usually both very busy but on this rare occasion we decided to visit Firenze

The restaurant is very spacious meaning you are not worried about another table listening in to your conversation and far enough away from any tables with children.

The menu has a good selection of starters, pizza, pasta, meat and fish dishes.

On this occasion we decided to eat from the two dine for £20 menu which includes a Starter, Main and glass of  house wine each.

Mr Gourmands Mum started with the Potato Skins which were accompanied by a Garlic Mayo and Smoked Paprika dip.  The potato skins were delicious and seemed to go on for ever, both of the dips were delicious and it was nice to have a choice of two.

The prawn classic was a twist on the classic dish, salad ingredients were crisp and fresh, prawns were juicy and the sauce tasted home made.

The dish was beautifully seasoned and quite filling.

Mr Gourmands mum picked the pan seared chicken breast with creamy leak and parmesan sauce served with hand cut chips.  After eating the mountain of potato skins she wished the dish had come with vegetables but that didn’t stop her finishing the deliciously sweet chips.

The chicken was perfectly cooked and the sauce was delicious.

My main course was the Tuscan lamb stew served on creamed potatoes, this was a filling dish, a very filling dish. The flavours were amazing, the lamb was tender and abundant and the mash was delicious.

I only actually managed to eat half of the dish unfortunately, If Mr Gourmand had been with me I know he would have finished it off for me!

We finished off our meal with two coffees which were kindly topped up once we had finished.  I would not hesitate to visit Firenze again and need to arrange a date with Mr Gourmand.