Scalini's in Gosforth was a firm favourite of ours pre-children. It used to be the place I would meet friends for a pizza and a catch up or try our luck with 'push the button' happy hour in the adjoining Three Mile pub before heading off to town. For whatever reason we have never got around to taking our children but after a successful family party in the Three Mile function room recently, we decided it was about time we returned to try the pizzas and pasta we used to be so fond of.
A family party at The Three Mile
We booked a table for 5pm and were rather worried when we arrived to find an empty car park - I have memories of it always being full and wondered if perhaps the restaurant wasn't as popular as it once was? It turned out that within 20 minutes the restaurant was full and my worries were clearly unfounded.
Scalini's restaurant is warm and welcoming with exposed brick work, soft lighting, cozy booths and large round tables. It is definitely the sort of place you can relax and enjoy your surroundings without having to worry about your children being on their best behaviour. The restaurant is clearly a firm favourite with families in the early evening with babies in prams, toddlers in highchairs, children and teenagers at almost every table at the time of our visit.
Children are given an activity sheet which kept us all entertained as we waited for our food - the spot the difference actually had us all thinking and we still haven't found the 8th difference so if anyone finds them all - please let me know! At the end of our meal Heidi and Jack turned their sheet over as I enjoyed my coffee and created some beautiful pictures. I am pleased to report that there were plenty of crayons provided and they all actually worked.
The Scalini's children's menu is priced at £5.50 for a main course, ice cream and a fruit shoot which is pretty standard for Italian restaurants. Children can choose from a pizza with up to two toppings, a variety of pasta dishes or favourites such as sausage and mash or mini fish and chips. Our boys decided on a pizza and I was very impressed to see they were homemade and a very good size. I had a quick sample and have to say they were delicious and very authentic. Scalini's will box any leftover slices up for you to take home if you ask. Heidi decided to go for Napoli pasta and her portion was so huge that she could only manage to eat half and didn't have room for pudding! Scalini's is definitely recommended if you can never seem to fill your children.
The Magnificent Seven
I decided to dine from the 'Magnificent Seven' menu which features 7 dishes, for £7 each, 7 days a week, before 7pm. The menu changes frequently throughout the week and I just could not resist the sound of Pulled pork calzone pizza with a Jack Daniel's BBQ glaze.
My pizza was gorgeous and definitely worth the £7 and this isn't really a criticism but it was just so packed with filling that like my daughter, I couldn't manage it all. If you are a fan of pulled pork this pizza is definitely one to look out for.
It is impossible for our family to spot calamari on a menu and for us not to order a portion. It is probably our all-time favourite starter so we had to give Scalini's version a try. We ordered two portions between us and our only regret is that we didn't order more. The batter was light and the squid was tender and not at all chewy which is the one thing you dread. Pretty perfect in fact and recommended (although I would love to see a homemade mayo sauce on the side).
My husband ordered the ravioli agnello (braised lamb & thyme parcels in a lamb stock, rosemary and onion cream sauce) for £8.95 from the main menu. This is a dish we haven't tried before and is slightly more unusual than the usual carbonara, pesto or tomato pastas we would normally choose but have to say we would definitely order again. No photographs (oops bad blogger) but again it was a large portion, full of flavour and had that lovely homemade taste to it.
We finished our meal with a couple of coffee's for the grown ups and ice creams for the children. The staff were so lovely and welcoming and nothing was too much trouble. Service was super quick and when we ordered extra drinks they were on our table within a few minutes which is so often not the case.
We think Scalini's Gosforth is a fantastic place to enjoy a family meal and we are delighted to be hosting a competition for one lucky reader to win a £50 gift card to spend at Scalini's Gosforth with their family. Simply enter using the rafflecopter giveaway below. Good luck!