Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Satisfied Customers at Busy Danielle's

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Satisfied Customers at Busy Danielle's

Article excerpt

Byline: By Geoff Laws

Geoff Laws visits Danielle's Bistro and finds it a satisfying experience.

I was really lucky last night.

I entered a raffle and won a bottle of Champagne.

I'm rather fond of Champagne, so it was a very welcome prize. The last time I won anything was years ago, when I was but a cub editorial artist. I won a leg of pork.

Eating out is now a frequent pleasure, as it is for many people but, on Tuesday evening, I was more than a little surprised at the number of people in Danielle's in Hexham. Tuesday is typically a slow night, being neither midweek nor weekend yet, by the time we left, I counted at least 30 covers. People flowed in at a steady rate. Each group was warmly welcomed and seated at one of the scrubbed wood, kitchen-style tables. Chunks of moist, nutty bread were brought to the table and the blackboard peering began. There was a lot on the menu, which seemed to be modern British with Italian overtones. I finally decided the fresh mushroom tortellini in a brandy/tarragon cream sauce would start things off nicely.

The frilled pasta parcels were filled with succulent, earthy mushrooms and swathed in a creamy, herb sauce that helped the bread come into its own and the plate was returned to the kitchen in a pristine state.

My companion had chosen the avocado salad with prawns and poached and smoked salmon: several starters in one by the sound of it. The pink-green combination always works well and the dish looked very attractive, with plenty of radicchio to add colour depth.

The avocado's soapy flesh was a little too firm and the prawns were too chilly to have any flavour initially, but the salmon was just right. Folds of smoky-rich fish and flaking poached chunks were liberally scattered around the central salad. Some dressing would have helped bring everything together but, no matter, it was a good introduction to the meal.

A glass of Montepulciano D'Abruzzo filled the interval between courses. …

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