Birthdays are like buses in the Hooper household. They all come at once which means the end of February beginning of March is an expensive time for us! This time it was Judith’s 75th Birthday (Alan’s mother) and we decided to book somewhere close by to her home and somewhere a bit more special than the average. Adriano’s is a Sardinian restaurant on the Gosforth High Street which came highly recommended by my sister in law. Once a baby sitter was arranged (thanks Mam!) the meal was booked.
Pre-Drinks at the County
After taking the short journey from Great Park on the Q3 bus, we met Alan’s two brothers John and Dave and their wives Janice and Claire, along with Judith in the County pub. Handily this pub is almost next door to the restaurant. The County is quite a compact traditional pub and we scored well to find a seat. The pub is well regarded for it’s real ales but as i’m to be putting it politely, not a fan, chose a nice glass of Shiraz. It’s a busy place and this gives it a great warm atmosphere. I could see Alan eyeing up the quiz machines by the side of the wall as he does love a bit of ‘Deal or No Deal’ but that would have to wait till another time!
Time was ticking on and our 8pm reservation was close by, so we drank up and walked the very short distance to Adrianos. Housed in a former terraced house tucked behind the main high street shops, Adriano’s entrance faces a gorgeous patio area which is lit up with fairy lights to give a great ambiance. I could see myself here on a summers evening enjoying a beverage. The popular Adriano’s Deli also backs onto this terrace and my girls love an ice-cream here in the summer before heading over to Gosforth Park.
We were greeted by a friendly waiter who showed us to a long table in the middle of the restaurant. First impressions were good – Adrianos is spacious, and the decor could be described as modern-rustic, with white washed tables and exposed brick work. The olive trees in the middle are a great touch as well as smelling amazing. The set up of the table meant it was quite difficult to talk to everyone but this couldn’t really be helped unless they changed to round tables.
It was a little bit of a struggle to read the menu due to the ‘mood’ lighting, but with a little creativity and a couple of iPhone, we just managed and Alan ordered a bottle of Prosecco to share (£19.95) and a bottle of Merlot for Judith and Dave. All went down very well… and we ordered more Prosecco as the meal went on.
The waiter soon popped down a platter of toasted bread, olives and olive oil and we all got stuck in. The menu is pretty vast, but I chose Mussels (£8.75) in white wine sauce with Sardinian Flat bread to start and a Risotto Milanese (£10.95) a chicken risotto with peas. Alan had Fagotto di salmone (Buffalo Mozzarella and avacado wrapped in smoked salmon) followed by Filetto di Maiale (chargrilled Pork fillet served in an apple cider jus)
The mussels were delicious in a rich white wine an garlic sauce and were soon devoured.
Alan’s Mozzerella and salmon parcel wasn’t what he expected. The cheese and avocado had been whipped into a mousse and was more cream cheese than he was expecting.
The chicken risotto was a large portion and although very tasty was a little bit stodgy for me to be a perfect dish. It went down well but we were all too full for desert. I had mentioned that it was Judith’s birthday on booking but as she left before the desert menu came out I think she missed her piece of birthday cake – not Adrianos fault – she just likes to go to bed early! Throughout the meal the waiters were extremely attentive but not intrusive, you can tell this restaurant is well established and they are pros at what they do.
On a visit to the toilets I spotted this fun canvas print on the wall. On first glance it looks like they are having a fun spaghetti eating contest, but after the drink has worn off the second from the right doesn’t look like she’s enjoying it anymore!
On balance, we will definitely return to Adriano’s. I’m not sure my mother-in-law would as she said she found it quite noisy due to the cavernous room. It was quite difficult to hear what people were saying at the other end of the table. I think it would be great for a catch up and gossip with the girls over that nice bottle of Prosecco again. The atmosphere inside and the fantastic service really sets it apart from the other Italian restaurants in Gosforth. We made it back on the Q3 which pleased Alan, as we had bought return tickets, and were soon home in the land of nod.