Newcastle Hotel du Vin and Bistro
Posted: 18 Nov 2009
Hotel du Vin and Bistro
Newcastle has made quite an art of converting historic buildings into new, successful and exciting ventures open to the public.
Think of the Baltic (a former flour mill, now cutting-edge art gallery and restaurant) and the Biscuit Factory in Shieldfield (ditto for its current function and the name tells the story of its origin).
And now there’s the Hotel du Vin and Bistro, one of the latest in a small, uber-cool chain in the UK.
About ten minutes’ walk from the city centre, it has been converted from the former Tyne-Tees Steam Shipping Company premises to the west of the Quayside.
But its refined glamour, discreet service and clubby atmosphere are a million miles away in spirit from the mad bustle of the Quayside.
I went for a business lunch in a party of 20 people and was impressed with the calm professionalism under pressure (the restaurant was almost full) and the prompt and helpful service. The food and wine (as you’d expect) weren’t half bad either.
A set lunch included starters of mussel chowder (looked fab, everyone who had it liked it, wish I liked mussels), buffalo mozzarella with basil and tomato (simple, fresh) and – my choice – ham hock with gribiche sauce. It was lovely, meltingly tender, surprisingly light and much enlivened by the gribiche sauce (I had to look up what it was – it’s hard-boiled egg whites with capers, gherkin and parsley).
Mains were beer-battered cod with chips and crushed peas, sautéed beef rump with spinach, creamed potatoes and peppercorn sauce and risotto primavera – my choice. Again, this could have been heavy or starchy but was in fact delicate and tasty with crunchy green veg including fresh asparagus giving a seasonal flavour.
Desserts (I had no room but others did) were elderflower jelly with berries and ripple ice cream, lemon tart and floating island – soft meringue floating on a light custard.
On the dinner menu starters begin at £6.25 and mains £12.50 with side orders priced at £2.95. House white and red wine is £14.50 a bottle.
0191 229 2200