After almost 20 years at 21 Queen Street, Terence Laybourne has moved his famed Newcastle trailblazer Cafe 21, to larger premises a stone's throw away in Trinity Gardens. A logo in green etched on the window advertises the place, which remains the flagship of Laybourne's depleted chain of '21s' across the North-east. Inside, it looks sleek and smart with dark wood, warm chocolate hues and mink leather seating. The mood is unashamedly cosmopolitan, but never stuffy.
The food is at the top end of the bistro scale, delivering classy contemporary ideas with confidence and style: crispy langoustine fritters are served with pesto, fillet of sea bream comes with citrus vinaigrette, for example. Other fish is treated with straight-and-true simplicity – as in deep-fried haddock with minted pea purée and a bowl of chips. On the meat front, expect anything from rare-breed pork belly with green lentils and braised chicory to seasonally appropriate grilled venison with butternut squash caponata and red wine.
Desserts are a high point, ranging from straightforward custard tart with nutmeg ice cream to 'fraisier' (a confection of strawberries, almond sponge, pistachio ice cream, vanilla cream and strawberry juice). The eclectic, 60-bin wine list scours the globe and comes up with exciting drinking especially from the Southern Hemisphere.
Also featured in: AA Guide, Good Food Guide, Michelin Guide.
|Vegetarian||Private Dining Room||Private Parties|
|Child Friendly||Accepts Cards|