Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Be Prompt to Enjoy an Italian Gem

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Be Prompt to Enjoy an Italian Gem

Article excerpt

Byline: By Louise Redvers

Caffe Zonzo,

Goldspink Lane, Sandyford, Newcastle

(0191) 230 4981

It was one of those Saturday nights when we wanted to go out to eat somewhere but didn't feel up to the bright lights of the city centre.

Determined not to fall back on the old ( and frankly now quite boring ( favourites in our Jesmond neighbourhood, we dug out the phone directory to see what else was on offer.

It seemed everyone had the same idea as us, however, because there wasn't a table to be had for miles.

But after a long hover over the Chinese takeaway option, I remembered a place my aunt had told me about in Sandyford called Caffe Zonzo.

We set off around 7.30pm to walk straight into a snowstorm, and after a slight detour (my fault, terrible with directions), we arrived at the brightly-lit Caffe Zonzo on Goldspink Lane around 8pm.

The windows were slightly steamed up and a warm smell of garlic and herbs swept around us as we opened the door.

Unlike many neighbourhood Italians, there wasn't a wax-covered chianti bottle in sight, but instead bare beams and pale wooden tables and chairs.

Melon balls and prawn cocktails were conspicuously absent from the menu, which was projected on to the wall above the open kitchen, and there were nearly as many wines and cocktails as there were different meals.

The snag about Caffe Zonzo is you can't book, but we were happy to sit on the luxurious leather sofa and have a drink while we waited for a table.

This gave us plenty of time to check out the other diners ( an eclectic mix of young and old, families, friends and lovers.

Frustratingly, though, we had to wait for nearly an hour before we got seated and in this time we knocked back a fair bit of the house white, ending up a little tipsy and ordering a second bottle of red later on.

I started with crostini di funghi trifolati (pounds 4. …

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