The Vermont is a grand, established hotel situated on the Quayside, the hub of Newcastle. Their restaurant, The Bridge, brings brasserie dining to Newcastle. They state ‘The ingredients are local, the service professional, and the quality exceptional – decadent dining in the heart of the City.’ We couldn’t wait to decide for ourselves. Let the celebrations begin! In anticipation, we couldn’t help but get excited by the sense of royalty you get on arrival. As you walk in, you can feel its salubrious class. We were sat by one of the charming windows and we couldn’t have asked for a better table as the views of the Tyne Bridge were stunning. It was dark but the night sky was lit up by the glowing Tyne Bridge. It is such a superb, enticing view of the city. The interior in the restaurant itself is refined with elegant seating areas. Yannick, our waiter on the night, introduced himself with vigour and came across good-humoured. To drink, we went for Granfort Merlot – the house red wine. It was a rich, juicy southern French wine with lots of plummy fruit and soft, round tannins.
To start, we ordered Smoked Salmon, beetroot, crème fraiche and capers, and Free Range Pressed Chicken, mushroom, sweetcorn and watercress. Cute and alluring, the salmon dish was as pretty as can be. The salmon tasted splendid. The onion crisp gave the dish crunch. The beetroot sauce gave it extra colour, depth and refinement. Although it was small, even for a starter, I thoroughly enjoyed the taste combinations. The chicken however was a massive portion yet still had the presentation prowess of a beautiful looking dish. The chicken was pâté- like and had a great taste. Although it took a while for my colleague to get used to the taste on his palate, he didn’t leave a nibble and was very pleased with his choice.
For our mains, my colleague and I went with Yannick’s recommendation and decided on the 10oz Sirloin and the 8oz Rib-eye Vermont Steaks. My sirloin steak was huge. It came with a chunky grilled tomato, watercress, chunky chips and garlic mayonnaise (it would also have been served with onion rings but they weren’t for me as they contained gluten). My steak was cooked rare; it was everything you’d want a steak to be. Juicy and tender, all of its natural flavour was bursting out! Washed down with a swig of house red, I was in my glory. My colleague’s Rib-eye steak was cooked well done and he absolutely adored the combination of the steak with the peppercorn sauce. No words were required; I could see him smiling through his eyes.
Finally, as we were celebrating, we went all out and ordered desserts. I went off menu and ordered Chocolate Brownie, strawberry ice-cream and a berry sauce. Again wonderfully presented, the centred huge slab of chocolate brownie was just asking to be eaten, the strawberry ice-cream resting on top and it was like Christmas all over again as hints of green pistachio and red berries made up the rest of the plate. I’ve had a lot of brownies lately and it certainly was up there as it was so soft and squidgy but just lacked that cutting-edge to be the best. My colleague went for the Sticky Toffee Pudding, Newcastle Brown Ale ice-cream and toffee sauce. Again, my colleague enjoys a sticky toffee pudding and has sampled many recently. This was one of his favourites particularly because of its accompaniments. The ice-cream was a delight and his favourite part of his dessert. The desserts finished us off. Before we left, Yannick (who I have to add was an incredibly polite, perspicacious host) offered to take us to the Sky Lounge at the top of the hotel to check out the views. Breathtaking, particularly at night as all of the lights look like stars shining for you. Worth the experience alone, I have never witnessed a view of Newcastle like it. If you ever get a chance to visit, you must take it. What a spectacular finale and great way to end a beautiful evening. With very little to fault other than starter portion size, we were wowed. The Bridge at Vermont was an experience I shall never forget. If you fancy fabulous food in a luxurious setting with a stunning view it will be hard to find much better in town.