I am a freelance writer living in the North of England, following six years living in Brisbane, Australia. I enjoy writing about travel, sport and the outdoors. Subscribe to my articles to keep up to date with the best things to do in the North East.
Published April 15th 2014
Treat yourself to an Italian feast in the heart of Seaburn
Hidden away from the well-known haunts of the sea front, Bellini Italian Restaurant has been causing something of a stir in Seaburn. Having opened around 18 months ago, this rustic eatery has grown steadily in popularity and we were fortunate to have booked a table when we arrived just after 6.00pm last Saturday evening. The place was packed with diners of all ages and tastes and while many were taking advantage of happy hour (Mon-Thurs 12pm-7pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-6pm, Sun 4pm-close), the pace showed no signs of slowing down throughout the night.
Starting with a couple of quintessential garlic breads, our group of four were pleased to see a range of traditional favourites, along with some more experimental options. A friend sampled the tiger prawns in olive oil, garlic and chilli, served with toasted ciabatta, while I couldn't look past the Chicken Liver Pate. Both were of a high standard and soon snaffled up. It was also refreshing, in more ways than one, to see a selection of draught beers, not always the case in an Italian restaurant, and whilst the Peroni was a little pricy at £3.95 a pint, I opted for a creamy Caffrey's at one pound less.
For mains, two of us opted for the Calzone piccante and were treated to fresh, stringy mozzarella with chicken, n'duja sausage, mushroom and chilli, inside a sizeable dome. My friend's Lasagne was also appetising, but the star of the show was the Sirloin Steak, served on a bed of rocket and parmesan salad with chunky chips. The 8oz slab of meat was tender and beautifully-flavoured and was washed down with a flavoursome glass of house red.
Too full for dessert, our bill came to less than £20 a head, more than reasonable when you consider our starters and drinks, and given this was outside of happy hour, it's clear that Bellini is priding itself on both fresh food and great value. While some of the more established restaurants in the surrounding area can live off their reputation, there is no doubt this up-and-coming establishment is breaking the mould.