“ Address: The Coquetvale Hotel, Station Road, Rothbury, Northumberland, NE65 7QH „
Coquetvale Hotel Italia Plus
This restaurant is an Italian restaurant within the building of the Coquetvale Hotel in Rothbury. WE spent a couple of nights in Rothbury recently exploring Northumberland and when we knew where we were staying we booked this for our second night.
OPENING HOURS : 5PM - 9PM
2nd January - 11th February 2012 Wednesday - Sunday
12th February - 19th February 2012 Tuesday - Sunday
20th February - 30th March 2012 Wednesday - Sunday
31st - 2nd July 2012 Tuesday - Sunday
3rd July - 23rd September 2012 Seven nights
Also open every Bank Holiday Monday
WHY THIS RESTAURANT?
We had been given a 'Restaurant Experience ' voucher for Christmas and the restaurants that were of offer were few and far between so when we found this one in Rothbury we thought we may as well use the vouchers as the restaurant didn't have any poor reviews that we could find.
We were able to walk to the restaurant from our accommodation which was nice as it meant we could both enjoy a drink with our meal. The hotel was quite a big imposing building that looked like it was stone built. The Italia Plus restaurant was up some side stairs so we didn't actually go into the hotel itself but anyway this review is not about the hotel but the restaurant itself.
We were greeted at a sort of desk and welcomed. We explained that we had this voucher and had booked and how did the voucher work, given that it was a restaurant experience? He very politely explained that yes they accepted the voucher but it was just for £50 off the total bill and NOT as we had thought a taster menu or a special restaurant experience.
The restaurant had polished wooden floors and the tables were nicely laid with white linen serviettes , glasses, and cutlery . The walls were also polished wood with a number of heavily framed large mirrors and photographs of older film stars with their autographs. Initially I thought they might have been people who had eaten there but when I saw quite how many there were on the walls I realised it must be someone's collection. They were there as part of the decor and they did make for an interesting conversation topic as my husband and I tried to decide who they were.
The restaurant was awarded "Best Hotel Food" for 2007 by the Northumberland Gazette and the hotel has a certificate of excellence from Tripadvisor in 2012.
We were taken to a table in a corner and I think there was one other table occupied when we first arrived. By the time we had got our food I think there were about half a dozen tables with guest eating .It was not packed and we could have easily got a table without booking but we were there out of season and midweek so it might get as busy as they describe on the website.
We ordered our drinks and they came pretty quickly along with a jug of iced water which I always think is nice. A few minutes later we had a small basket of fresh bread and some butter brought to the table and we were asked if we were ready to order.
WHAT IS ON THE MENU?
Well it is an Italian restaurant which is not really our first choice of eating out food as we eat a lot of good pasta at home, i also make a fairly mean risotto in various flavours and neither of us are mad on pizzas so all in all choice was a bit limited.
There was an entire section of pasta dishes which as I said we eat a lot of at home so although I love pasta I always look for something a bit different when eating out so despite the fact that there were some nice looking seafood pasta dishes I skipped passed those and the entire pizza section too and looked at what else was on offer. A small section offering stuzzichini which seemed to be things like garlic bread with a variety of extras but once again nothing grabbed my attention and I had my eye on dessert rather than extra bread. Another section offering Antipasta which were pretty tasty looking starters such as smoked salmon with prawn parcel and salad, a Caprese salad, soup, a plate of local smoked meats, melon with prosciutto and so on.
There were sections offering meat including various steaks and another with fish options which did tempt me quite a lot and finally there was a section offering specialties of the house.
We were tempted with the starters and my husband chose the selection of local smoked meats while I thought I would enjoy the salmon and prawn parcel with salad. Mine was delicious and I could have had a full meal of that. My husband said his was very tasty and each of the meats was very different and tender.
The main course we decided as we had a £50 voucher that we would both enjoy the fillet steak with a tasty pepper sauce for my husband and a steak Diane for me. The steaks came with either homemade chips, a side salad or vegetables with Tuscan roast potatoes. My husband had chips while I chose the vegetables and gave him some of those too.
The steaks were delicious, really well cooked just as we asked, medium rare and so tender. We didn't finish the vegetables and we were both really full after enjoying this.
The waiter asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu and my husband who hasn't got a sweet tooth said no but I rather fancied finishing with something sweet and chose a simple ice cream as all the desserts were rather on the heavy side.
These were very clean and on the same level but I honestly can't remember much else about them so I can't say whether they were disable friendly. Having said that the restaurant is up a fairly steep flight of steps so you would have to cope with those first unless there is another way in which I don't know about.
WOULD I RECOMMEND?
Yes I think so. The food was very good and the service very pleasant and efficient. They were not overly fussing over us but everything came as it should and when it should. The atmosphere was not exactly buzzing but it was busy enough and I expect it gets busier in the summer season.
If you are in the area then yes, but I wouldn't drive along way to go here especially as it was not anything amazingly different.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.