7th May 2013
If you've been to Martino's in Seaburn or Seaham you'll know how lovely the food is, and it gets better with their new restaurant in Jarrow as this is where they are launching their brand new menu, so you can sample it before it comes to Seaham or Seaburn.
From outside it is very understated, but walk through the door and you feel like you are in Italy. Through the main door you arrive in a long corridor which is decorated to look like a traditional Italian street, you could be in Napoli, Rome, Florence. It's a really clever trick as it puts you in the right frame of mind and sets you up for the Italian experience.
We were met by the staff and Steve the manager who gave us a choice of where to sit, close to the bar where he offered to put on The Godfather movie which could be projected onto the big wall above the bar or through into the main restaurant...we went through to the restaurant so that we focused completley on the food (to be honest I'm not a fan of the Godfather movies...a little overated if you ask me)
Steve explained the menu and left us to make our choice, everything looked so good. There was all of the dishes that you would expect in an Italian with a wide selection of pastas and pizzas as well as the different meat dishes which the Italians do so well. Eventually we went for calamari and pate to start and then I had a steak (recomended by Steve) and Nick had pasta carbonara and a cheesy garlic bread. Nick's calamari was perfectly cooked in a light batter which apparently has a secret method which the chef won't even reveal to the manager!! Whatever it is it works. My pate was classic and very well done with a lovely coulis and toast.
In between courses Steve the manager came over to chat with us and talked about the restaurant, it was clear he is very passinate about food and his job. I did think he was giving us special treatment as we were there to review the food but I noticed that he went around and chatted to all of the diners. I thought this was a nice touch, that he took the time to do this.
Our mains arrived and I had a perfectly cooked sirloin steak. I had asked for medium and that's exactly what I got, too often restaurants get this wrong. It was accompanied by proper thick cut chips, which had been properly seasoned. They had a nice crunchy edge and soft and fluffy inside. Nick's pasta was a decent portion with nice chunks of ham in it and a creamy sauce and the garlic bread was huge.
Sadly we didn't have room for a dessert which is a shame as they looked amazing. If you have been to Martino's before you will not be disapointed, the food is great and the place has been decorated very stylishly. It's well worth the short trip up the A19 to sample it especially as they have a new menu.
Posted by Mark at 4:11pm