Jesmond has always been good to me so when I got the opportunity to review Antico’s Italian Restaurant, I was hoping it would continue the trend. The question was, could it stand out in amongst quality competition? I was about to find out. 

According to their website, Antico states The Antico experience is based on the simple principle of ‘Good food, Good Wine, Good times!’ It’s the Italian way of eating and it is something that should not be rushed. We are not interested in turning our tables around five or six times a night – we believe that food should be savoured in an unhurried environment, where you can relax with your friends, family, or partner and eat your meal the way it should be eaten – slowly and with an appreciation for the extra effort we put into making every dish special. Our mission is to deliver incredible food and this starts our commitment to quality.

Ready to relax that Friday night, I could sense we were in for a treat because as soon as you walk into Antico you automatically feel its class; it is a fabulous, soothing setting. We were greeted by the smiling Antonio who took us to our table for two. Yes it was Friday night but there wasn’t an empty seat – the place was bustling.

To drink, we had to sample one of Antico’s fine wines from their drinks menu.

According to Antico, We complement our food offering with the best Italian wines – you won’t find any other nation represented, as only Italian wine can complete Italian food in that special and unique way that has made this cuisine so loved all over the world.

Therefore we chose two glasses of Nero D’Avola – a full-bodied Sicilian classic with plum and peppery overtones with hints of vanilla. Cheers to a perfect start.  Although the antipasti had many of my favourites such as Zuppa di Cozze (mussels) and calamari, I decided to skip on the starters and begin with the mains. Though we were in an Italian restaurant (the home of pizza and pasta dishes) the waiter urged us to try one of their Le Specialita Della Casa (House Specialties) especially as Antico state,

We use 27 day matured Gran Reserva quality steak and all of our meat, fish and vegetables are sourced seasonally. On the subject of seasonal foods, if it’s not in season we don’t serve it.

With all that in mind, we opted for Il Filetto di Manzo con Salsa al Pepe (Fillet Steak with peppercorn Sauce) and Pollo agli Asparagi (Chicken breast served with a creamy asparagus and sunblushed tomato sauce). Our waiter put me at ease by highlighting each element served as gluten free. After around fifteen minutes, our faces lit up when our plates arrived. Bulging alongside the homemade chips and mixed salad, the steak was ordered rare and was outstanding, particularly with the peppercorn sauce. The star of the chicken dish was the creamy sauce that caressed the palate, enticing you in for more. The chicken itself was perfectly tender with the skin crisp. Served with chopped asparagus and a scattering of sundried tomatoes as well as vegetables on the side, my colleague peacefully patrolled his way through the plate. Both our mains were spot-on. Molto bene!

As we didn’t have a starter, I had to attempt a dessert (I have to admit I was struggling) so I decided to go with the traditional Italian dish Panna Cotta with Salted Caramel… If you’re going to go sweet, make it its superlative. The gleaming white cooked cream’s indulgence was intensified by the salted caramel sauce – I’m glad I was in a decadent mood. In typical Italian style, we were greeted with a Limoncello to finish off a wonderful evening… Thank you Antico, it was a night to savour.

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