Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Right Place for Relaxing

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

The Right Place for Relaxing

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON BARR

KICK back, unwind and enjoy! That's the motto at Cafeantipasto - so that's exactly what we decided to do.

We ventured there on Wednesday and, lo and behold, it just happened to be Mojito night, so who were we to argue, with me enjoying a classic Mojito and my partner indulging in the Victorian variety.

OK, we waited until after our meal to have them, but with this place you can just venture in and enjoy a drink in the bar area without stopping for food.

By doing that, though, you would be missing out on a treat.

Cafeantipasto prides itself on being a "laid-back retreat" and it certainly is a sociable eatery, with the menu designed around small dishes (piattini), although you can have main meals of pasta and pizza if you prefer.

We started the night with a 10-inch pizza garlic bread with tomato and chilli (pounds 3.60). It was incredibly light, lifted perfectly by the light dusting of chilli.

Out piattini was an eclectic mix, just the way it should be.

The spiedini di pollo (pounds 3.95) is a wonderful combination of chicken breast skewers wrapped in sage, sealed and cooked under the grill. Very tasty.

As is the cozze pepate (pounds 3.85), mussels cooked in garlic, chilli, tomato and white wine.

When it comes to vegetarian options, the cafe boasts one of the broadest range of choices in the city, with more than a dozen plates to whet your appetite.

We enjoyed the polenta al funghi (pounds 3.40), although did feel it was slightly over-cooked. It went well with the accompanying chilli mayonnaise though.

Still on the subject of mushrooms, the funghi al aglio (garlic mushrooms) was to die for. At pounds 3.40, they were packed with flavour, and while I write this the following morning, I can still taste them in my mouth (not so good for those around me!).

One of the 'problems' with piattini is knowing how much to order - will the portions be so small you need loads, or so big you end up leaving lots?

We were told about three dishes each would be about right, so we decided to order seven between us just in case!

It was a toss-up between the frittata Italiana (caramelised onion and potato mix, topped with green pesto, roasted butternut squash with Taleggio cheese and rocket, pounds 4) and the verdure grigliate (char-grilled aubergine, courgettes, mixed peppers, goat's cheese and pesto, pounds 4). …

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