Having an hour to spare on Sunday night before a film (Toy Story 3, of course), we (me + 1) decided to venture out to find something to eat; we ended up in Nino’s in the Gate, Newcastle. They seem to get a lot of positive reviews on Twitter, so I figured we’d give them a go.
The food (risotto and a pizza) was OK – we happened to turn up at happy hour so for £5.50 a person I wasn’t expecting great things! It was hot enough when it arrived, if a little flavourless (unlike the garlic bread, which was dripping with garlic!).
The restaurant was by no means busy, and whilst the food arrived promptly, other aspects of the service let the experience down:
- We had multiple waitresses – not a problem in itself – but they were all brusque and though not unfriendly, hardly presented the warm welcome we’d expect
- After the main course, we wanted to pay and leave quickly to buy tickets for the film. I got a little impatient after waiting for 5 minutes or so, and walked up to the counter to pay, where I was told the bill would be brought across soon. After another wait, the bill was left on the table, and after yet another wait ~5 minute wait, we were finally able to pay and leave
It was a quiet Sunday evening, so I wasn’t expecting much here: I can imagine on a busier night it would have been bustling. The problem with the Gate is it’s not exactly a place I’d go for a ‘quiet meal’ because it’s more of a spot for rowdier nightlife, but Nino’s is tucked away towards the back, and the restaurant itself is fairly light and airy.
Overall, the food was fine for the price, but the service left quite a lot to be desired. Would I return? Probably, but it’s not top of my list.
I think there are similarly-priced restaurants such as Pinocchio’s on Westgate Road and restaurants in Chinatown within a 5 minute walk which offer a warmer welcome.