I haven’t lived in Newcastle that long, but I feel quite confident that I know the city well, but I discovered a new area, and a new restaurant last Friday.

We went as part of Newcastle Restaurant week, where a handful of brilliant restaurants offered two meals for £10, excellent value!

We couldn’t decide on which restaurant to choose first, and in total eliminated about 20 restaurants from the list, and opted for Paradiso, a small Mediterranean restaurant nestled in a small alley way off Pilgrim Street.

A special menu was formed especially for the occasion, and we booked in advance to ensure we got a table.

When we arrived, we walked up the stairs to a small room with exposed brick walls and modern booths. We were led to small table, perfect for us. The room was quite dark, but felt quite romantic, and friendly.

The two courses for £10 also included a small glass of wine, I choose red, my partner, white. I also opted for a glass of lemonade, as I’m not a bg fan of wine.

We already knew what we were ordering, so we glanced over the familiar menu and were soon giving our orders to the smiley waiter.

I choose goat’s cheese and basil won tons with a trio of tapendas for my starter and my partner decided to have pan steamed mussels with chilli, garlic, coriander and tomatoes.

For our mains we both chose Moroccan lamb skewers with freshly made hummus, tomato chermoula and coriander flat-bread.

The starter was fine dining at it’s best, beautifully presented and every mouthful was an explosion of textures and flavours. The soft goats cheese mixed with basil was delicious encased in a crispy shell. The tapendas were lovely, the first was hummus, flavoursome and soft, the other two were two pesto-style sauces, both similar in flavour.

The next course arrived soon after the starters, and we were also given some complimentary bread – what a fantastic deal!

The lamb koftas came with a tomato based sauce, which could have used a bit of spice, but still worked well with soft lamb.

I was delighted that the koftas came with hummus, as I enjoyed it the first time round, and the flatbread, soaked through with the juice from the tomato sauce, and spread with a little hummus was a beautiful combination.

The main also came with a large, leafy green salad, which I also enjoyed.

The only downside was the portion, it was a little small but, on the other hand, it was nice not to feel stuffed for the long walk home, but did find myself snacking as soon as I put my feet up.

In total the meal came to £23, which is great value, even with the 10% discretionary gratuity.

By the time you read this, Newcastle Restaurant week will be almost over, or fully done and dusted. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit this hidden gem, as they have other deals on and the food is must.

Check them out here: http://www.paradiso.co.uk/index.php

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