The Grand Hotel's Victoria restaurant* has been recommended in the Michelin guide for several years running yet was quiet on the night of our visit which is a real shame. The dining room is beautiful and the perfect location for a special meal for two. The mood is set with white linen table clothes, panelled walls, gorgeous chandeliers and you can hear distant sound of piano music. We chose to sit near the window which offered glorious views out to sea. I was delighted to spot an English Sparkling wine (£22.50) on the comprehensive wine list. It is our absolute favourite and I have yet to find another restaurant in the North East where this is available. We promptly ordered a bottle (well we were celebrating) and were then left to browse the menu.
The menu is modern British using only the finest ingredients and is locally sourced where possible. I was extremely impressed with the prices considering what was on offer. Starters are priced at £4.95 each which is amazing value when you can choose options such as rope grown mussels, pan fried pigeon breast and slow cooked belly of pork. We placed our order with the very friendly and knowledgable front of house who was happy to recommend side dishes and explain a little more about the dishes we had chosen. I am always impressed when staff know the menu inside out - nothing more annoying than them having to pop back to the kitchen to ask questions. We were offered some complimentary freshly baked bread with a variety of butters including garlic and chilli as we waited for our starters. A lovely touch.
Shetland rope grown mussels with a spicy garlic sauce served with a garlic and herb bruschetta (£4.95)
Pan fried pigeon breast with a carrot and thyme salad, potato crisps and blackcurrant jus
Our starters were superb and brilliantly executed. The pigeon breast was perfectly pink and the whole dish was bursting with Autumnal flavours. My mussels were plump and served with a delicious homemade sauce. The portion was impressive - still can't believe it was only £4.95!
English lamb rump with baby fondant potatoes, homemade minted pesto and aubergine caviar
Steve's lamb was again perfectly pink, served with plenty of delicious mint pesto (always annoying when you don't get enough!) and beautifully presented.
Pan fried Monkfish tails, baby new potatoes, confit cherry tomatoes and a balsamic reduction
Panache of vegetables
My monkfish was like a work of art. The presentation was spot on. I have never tried monkfish before but was tempted after seeing a snap earlier in the week on the Grand Hotel's facebook page. In hindsight, I think monkfish was perhaps a little too meaty for my taste, Steve however loved it and said he would order it again so this is probably just a personal preference.
Tarte au citron served with a biscuit crumb topping and vanilla ice cream
I was in dessert heaven with this Tarte au Citron. It is up there with the best I have tried. The lemon flavour of the tarte was subtle but the lemon drizzle provided a lovely kick. Served with fresh fruit, ice cream and a biscuit crumb - my mouth is watering as I type. I would go back for this dessert alone.
Milk chocolate and caramel truffle with berry compote and chantilly cream
I had to steal a bite of Steve's dessert while I got the chance as it didn't last long. If you love chocolate - this is for you. It tasted like a giant, luxurious chocolate truffle and was a little piece of chocolate heaven. We would definitely recommend this too.
The refined and elegant atmosphere, the delicious food and the professional service really make the Victoria restaurant one of the best places we have been for a grown up date and it is a very special place to celebrate. If you really want to make a night of it you can stay over too.
After your meal you can take coffee in the dining or drawing room and then walk the 5 minutes along the coast to Tynemouth village where you will find a lovely selection of pubs and cocktail bars to finish your evening.
Thank you so much to The Grand Hotel for your hospitality, we can't wait to return soon.
Please call 0191 293 6666 for reservations