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“Zecca is a ground floor, open plan, modern, simply...”

Written on: 11/04/2011 by tybachuk (5 reviews written)

Zecca is a ground floor, open plan, modern, simply furnished restaurant, with a wood fired oven, offering a broad spectrum of down to earth Italian influenced menu with daily specials. The dining is in a relaxed, informal atmosphere with well schooled service by vibrant predominantly young staff. The cooking is unfussy, relying on the high quality of the produce and a kitchen brigade not afraid of flavours, producing generous portion well-crafted dishes with skill and carefully presented. The wine list is well chosen with fair mark up.

The interesting menu includes a broad selection of Wood Fired Pizzas, either from the fixed menu or self selected toppings, pasta dishes, fresh seafood and salads, risottos, meat dishes including the Italian favoured wild rabbit and sufficient desserts including the usual and yet another "dialect" of Tiramisu, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Creme Brulee but interestingly no Panna cotta.

My wife and myself started with an unassuming basket of fresh bread and flat bread from the Wood Fired Oven with fruity olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This was probably a mistake given the generous portions of the dishes following.

Unfortunately my initial choice of "Warm Zecca Salad", if not a signature dish might be said to be a signpost dish, that included my favourite wood-pigeon, was unavailable. This might have been fortunate because my and my wife's replacement dish was a daily special of exceptionally cooked warm scallops (not those puny Queen Scallops sometimes presented), black pudding and leaf salad. For any black pudding aficionados the Zecca Black Pudding, which I understand is homemade, is a magnificent classic. We followed this with yet another daily special, a local Dab fish napped with a cheesy white sauce and served with various vegetables. The Dab was apparently so fresh and good that it really did not need the sauce. I had wild local rabbit stuffed with black pudding wrapped in Parma ham with new potatoes, garlic and rich tomato sauce, a wonderful combination. Again our first choice dessert of creme brulee was unavailable but our replacement choice of a selection of sorbets was refreshing and flavoursome. We had non-alchoholic beer and Italian wine with smooth, velvety black fruit flavours, and an enticing hint of spice from I think Sicily's Nero d'Avola grape, often compared to Syrah.

Overall, really good, relaxed dining in a restaurant, providing refreshingly honest, very flavorsome and unfussy cooking, which is driven by a talented kitchen and supported by caring attentive front of house staff, that is a culinary find in this area of North Northumberland.

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