When one is in central Newcastle, they can find it difficult to avoid the luring prospect of spending their lunchtime in a well-known chain restaurant. As you know, I am on a crusade against commercial eateries. Giving one’s money to enormous enterprises does not appeal to this reviewer. I find the food is often synthetic and homogenised to please the most people possible. Smaller eateries, such as Di Marco, are often more genuine in their approach to dining.
The first thing which will shock you on entering the premises is the wave of Italian you’ll hear being spoken. This is the first of many good signs. Each of the staff I met there during my recent visit, as well as the numerous times I went here last August, are Italian. Any opportunity to practice my Italian is more than welcome. But the possibility of eating well while doing so is a rare occurrence indeed.
Speaking of food, pictured below is the arrabiata I ordered. Absolutely superb. Clearly made to order on the day. The pasta was cooked perfectly, the sauce was light and not too liquid. I deplore of restaurants who hand me a dripping sauce plate. Di Marco did it perfectly. As with the other two pasta dishes.
Of course, when my family and I go out, we try at least one fork full of every dish on the table. Hence I had the privilege of trying Di Marco’s attempt at a carbonara. I had made the genuine Roman one a few days prior, complete with guanciale. I’m glad to say that although the menu claims this one had cream, I detected no such atrocity. Perfect attempt (without guanciale of course). It is pictured below.
Now finally, Father ordered the Ragu. This is the correct name for what is commonly referred to as ‘Bolognese’. In fact I think that is how Di Marco must have it on their menu. Anyway this was the best out of the three dishes. Just absolutely wonderful. As well made as when I do it. The holy trinity of carrots; onion and celery were present. The tomato sauce was top notch. The beef was high quality. Stunning combination. You can see it below.
Lastly, with some excellent coffee, we ordered two cakes. The lemon one you see in the featured image of this post, and a strawberry cheesecake, pictured below. The sponge was so soft and smooth. The buttery biscuit case of the cheesecake was superbly flavoursome. One left this restaurant feeling light of stomach but not light of pocket. The whole meal came to an impressive £27.
Overall, if you want the most genuine Italian restaurant at a fraction of the high street chain ‘Italian restaurant’ price, this is the place to go. I’m elated that this place exists. Equally, I am mad at myself for not dining there more frequently. I hope that when you are in Newcastle, you’ll take your lunch at Di Marco. You’ll leave with a depth of satisfaction which is seldom felt.