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AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

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Prime modern British cooking right beside the Tyne Bridge

AA Inspector

At a glance

Vegetarian menu
Tasting menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access
Service charge

In today's restaurant world, location counts for a lot. It's often the first way of conferring distinctiveness on a place, the key to a contented diner's physical recollection of an occasion. The location here was a masterstroke of vision on Kenny and Abbie Atkinson's part, their idiosyncratic northeast venue occupying two floors of a 16th-century merchant's house on the Tyne quayside, with the famous bridge looming next to it. Uplighters throw the four-storey brick façade into dignified relief, and the river itself is but a pebble's toss away. Have a drink in the flagstoned ground-floor bar with caramel banquettes to set the ball rolling, and then proceed upstairs to an atmospherically historic dining space, where solid supporting beams punctuate the unreconstructed room, there's a majestic fireplace and a varnished board floor, and the window tables have elevated views of the river. Kenny Atkinson is one of the country's prime exponents of the modern British style, his skills and ingenuity spread liberally over seasonally changing seven-course tasting menus that are full of dynamic appeal. This is food that doesn't pull any punches, but delivers exactly where it should, on the palate. The winter journey may begin with a Lindisfarne oyster intuitively matched with cucumber, ginger and caviar, with stops along the way for a voguish partnership of sea bass with a chicken wing and artichoke purée, and dry-aged Goosnargh duck with apple and parsnip, to arrive at its final dark chocolate destination, amid garnishes of banana, lime and meringue. Alongside it, the vegetarian version is in itself so full of creative energy and temptation that omnivores might well feel inclined to pitch in. Crown prince squash with sheep's curd, capers and raisins could be followed in the line-up by hen of the woods mushrooms with hazelnuts and pear, and then a truffled spelt and onion dish for main. Lunch is only one course fewer, the autumn offering taking in onion soup with a scallop, halibut with mussels and sea veg, venison with wild mushrooms and hispi, and a brace of desserts leading with caramelised spiced pear, honeycomb and gingerbread. When springtime comes, it could be Yorkshire rhubarb with white chocolate and violets. Accompanying it all is a strong, user-friendly wine list, grouped by grape variety, showcasing many of today's outstanding growers, with an inspiring and varied selection by the glass. The aromatic signature cocktails are worth a look too. You won't look at a regulation gin and tonic in the same way again once you've tried the version here, made with Hepple's Northumberland gin, Galliano, and dandelion and burdock syrup.

Opening hours

  • Closed: 2 weeks at Christmas and New Year
  • Days closed: Sunday to Monday
  • Closed for lunch: Tuesday to Thursday
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 2
  • Dinner served from: 6
  • Dinner served until: 10

Chef

  • Chef: Kenny Atkinson

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines under £30: 15
  • Wines over £30: 90
  • Wines by the glass: 19

Price guide

  • Tasting menu from55
  • Service charge
  • Credit cards accepted

Accessibility

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome

Facilities

  • Seats: 60
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 14
  • On-site parking available
  • Off-site parking available: £1.20 per hour (free after 6pm)

Additional information

  • Seats: 60
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 14

Getting here

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Nearest train station

Newcastle Central
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