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Address: Franco's Terrace Bar & Restaurant, 1 Brentwood Mews, Jesmond, NE2 3DH

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      13.10.2011 00:54
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      Restaurant in Jesmond

      Francos We recently had a family evening out at this restaurant. The restaurant is situated in Jesmond, on a rather pleasant leafy suburbian road, at the end of a row of shops. There is plenty of free on street parking, but I would imagine that it is very busy on a Saturday afternoon. We went early evening on a Friday, and first impressions of the restaurant are good. There is a terrace bar with wicker tables and chairs, with large sun unbrellas and a large water feature which young grandson found quite fascinating. Inside, the restaurant is a long room with the small bar area right at the front of the room. The room is quite opulent, with black chandeliers, lots of mirrors, flocked wallpaper, and voile drapes sectioning off some of the tables. The tables themselves are modern wood and are placed in rows along each side of the room. The seating at the wall is booth style with upholstered velvet feel benches and at the other side of the tables, there are wooden chairs. We had a booking for a table for 5 and grandson and the staff quickly seated us and brought a chair which attached to the seat so lifting my grandson to a height whereby he could reach the table. Although not the type of high chair he is used to, he found it comfortable and it was easily secured to the chair. FOOD AND DRINK... There are several different menus including a Lunchtime Special which is a 3 course meal for£7.95 and the Early bird Special available 5.30pm-6.45pm Monday - to Saturday. Because we were dining early, we all decided to go for this menu. There is a choice of only 2 starters which are Zuppa del Giorno (minestrone) and Bucce di patate (Potato Skins). We also ordered 2 garlic breads which when they arrived were large and very garlicky, which made them perfect for us! The soup of the day was a light consome with plenty of vegetables and my own choice of potato skins found me nibbling on large chunks of tasty potato perfectly done, and with a garlic dip. The main course in this option is a choice of pizza or pasta. After some deliberation, Little Miss and another companion chose the lasagne, which came in a one serving dish and was piping hot with a good amount of sauce and mince, but not so much that it became sickly. I chose the Rigatoni Arrabiata (chilli, basil garlic & Tomato Sauce). It was nicely presented in a large white bowl and was pleasantly spicy, with the rigatoni being cooked to perfection. The menu doesn't feature much in the way of vegetarian dishes, so my vegetarian dining companion chose the Pizza Quattro Formaggi (Mozzarella, goats cheese, dolce latte & grana padano) which was certainly large and was pronounced delicious with lots of cheese and a thin crispy base. One diner decided to opt out of this menu at this stage and chose the Tagliolini Salmon flavoured fresh pasta with Smoked Salmon Cavalli Vodka cream garlic and cherry tomatoes. This came in at a price of £8.95, and looked too creamy for my taste buds. This wasn't disputed and whilst the pasta had been cooked perfectly, it was pronounced to be altogether too creamy with the sauce drowning out the taste of the salmon. There is no option for smaller portions for youngsters but the staff were more than happy to bring a spare plate for my grandson so he could have a bit of everything, although the garlic bread was his overall favourite. The wine list is adequate with wines ranging from under £11 up to almost £40. We chose a mid priced Chardonay Santa Margherita at £16.95, and a couple of bottles saw us nicely through the meal. The a la carte menu is extensive and has a good selection of hot and cold starters, meat and fish dishes and desserts. Anyone wanting to see the menu can find the whole menu on the website. **Contact...** Address: 1 Brentwood Mews, Jesmon Telephone: 0191 2813434 E mail: enquiries@francosjesmond.com Website: www.francosjesmond.com VERDICT... The total cost of the bill came to about £80 which for wine, soft drinks and 5 meals isn't especially pricey. The service is friendly and polite, the menu has something for everyone and the food when it arrives, is tasty and there is plenty of it. I like the outside area, and it did come in useful for little walks in the fresh air. This brings me onto the main problem with the restaurant- the wait between starter and main course was about 40 minutes. The restaurant had several diners but not enough to warrant a wait of this length and especially not when we were ordering from a set menu. That said, the location is good, it is clean and we had a very pleasant evening out. Thanks for reading Daniela xx

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