“ Address: 395 Pizzeria 33a Groat Market / Newcastle Upon Tyne / Tyne and Wear / NE1 1UQ „
This is written from the point of view of dining here early evening with a party of two adults and two children. We also had a voucher entitling us to a starter and main course and glass of wine for two which I think cost the princely sum of £8.
The restaurant is situated in the centre of Newcastle close to lots of bars, restaurants and shops. It's the kind of place which gets very busy late at night with revellers. Theres not a lot of parking really close to the restaurant so be prepared to find an on road parking bay but this is still less than a five minute walk.
It's right next to fast food restaurants and other restaurants so I imagine that late at night the place would be packed, but when we went it was quieter especially since it was snowing really heavily.
The restaurant itself is fairly standard Italian décor with a large picture of the Colosseum, Tower of Pisa and maps of Italy. It was almost like stepping back in time with the obligatory white table cloths covered over with red or green depending on which table you sat at. The tables themselves were scattered around the room and were of different sizes so there was plenty of room and I never felt I was listening in to peoples conversations.
We ordered a couple of starters including potato skins costing and bruchetta each costing £2.95. These were both large portions and enough for us all to pick at- I find that if we order a starter each for the children they are sometimes too full for their main course. The potato skins were nice enough but for me a bit too thick and a bit too greasy, more like a plate of potato wedges. They were presented with garlic mayonnaise and a side salad which. The bruschetta was pleasant enough but not the best. Again the pieces of tomato on the top were too big for my taste, and I was beginning to think the chef needed a sharper knife! However, the taste was good as it wasn't too heavy on the oil and I could taste the basil which I like.
The restaurant doesn't do a childrens menu so we ordered a margherrita pizza for each of the children. Strangely this type of pizza isn't on the menu but I believe we were charged the usual price of £4.95 each so not overly expensive. Including the calzone pizzas I think there were about 12 choices of pizza and although its not a huge choice there was enough choice for us. The most expensive pizza is £5.50 (sea foods) and the cheapest is only £3.95 (vegetarian) so you can certainly feed yourself for not a lot of money.The pizzas were a good size with a nice thin crusty base and just the right amount of cheese; often there is way too much cheese and Little Miss ends up picking some of it off. It was too big for the four year old we were with but he had a good go at it.
The pastas are served with a choice of either linguini, tagliatelle or penne. My dining companion chose the Verdi penne served with broccoli, peas, spinach and cream and costing £3.95. It came served in a large white bowl and although it looked a bit too creamy for me he enjoyed it with the only complaint being that the broccoli was a tad too soft. My Matriciana was delicious and at £3.95 I certainly got a large bowl of it. The one downside was the fact that it was served with smoky bacon; I like it but it may not be to everyones taste.
There are also meat and fish dishes all reasonably priced although even the other diners seemed to be having pizza or pasta.
HAPPY HOUR SPECIAL...
* 3 COURSE LUNCH SPECIAL (served 12:00 - 2:00 pm) £3.95
* Any 1/2 pizza with 1/2 pasta £5.95
* 3 COURSE ALL DAY SPECIAL £10.95
The specials are from a selected menu but still great value.
OTHER BITS OF INFORMATION...
The toilets are situated at the back of the restaurant and seem to be a work in progress with the tiles being half done. Not the best place for the toilets and given that there is only one, there could be a queue.
Even factoring in the voucher this meal including drinks would have cost under £40 which is good value for a city centre restaurant. It has a nice buzz about it and even early on there were plenty of customers. The staff are friendly and helpful and we were given enough time to chose our meals.
Its not the best décor or food wise and needs a bit of an update and is not somewhere I would recommend for a romantic meal but for reasonably priced good quality food, it does the business.
Thanks for reading