The Brasserie is the latest restaurant to hit the Tynemouth food scene this week at its home in the Grand Hotel overlooking Longsands Beach. Chef and restaurateur Ken Froggett is behind the new eatery and has been working closely with Head Chef Michael Gallagher and their dedicated team for the last few months, perfecting the new menu which they hope will cater for both modern and traditional tastes.
I’ve always had a soft spot for The Grand, with its handsome exterior, breathtaking views and classy afternoon teas so I was excited to be invited along to try out The Brasserie last week just before it launched.
The restaurant has been completely refurbished to compliment the traditional style of the Hotel and the new modern menu. You feel like you’re on the set of The Great Gatsby with the Art Deco style interior and soft piano music in the background.
Ken hopes The Brasserie will provide an oasis for locals, business, social gatherings and special occasions with a chance to indulge in a little grandeur with well-sourced food and wine. We thought it’d be the perfect backdrop to a date night when you want things to feel a bit on the special side.
We’d warned the restaurant that Matthew was a vegetarian, and they effortlessly substituted the meat dishes with suitable alternatives.
Starters start from around the £6 mark, and include classics like Prawn Cocktail, Mussells and Duck and Chicken Liver Pate, but also a Charcuterie Board and Grilled Asparagus.
Mains that caught my eye were the Scottish Salmon Darn flat roasted on spinach, capers, sundried tomatoes and fresh basil with sauce blanc at £15 and the Chicken Supreme Anglaise stuffed with Cumbrian Sausagea on wilted greens, herb crushed new potatoes and thyme with a port wine jus at £15.
We were treated to The Taster Menu, an impressive feast of seven dishes with a pretty reasonable £31 price tag. Ken hoped it would give us a good idea of what the new Brasserie menu is all about.
There was a choice between Northumbrian Vegetable Broth or Tomato and Fennel Soup – thick and tasty and served with deliciously fresh warm bread rolls.
Grilled Asparagus with potted gorgonzola and smoked paprika mayonnaise on dressed rocket
Mine was wrapped in ham, but Matthew’s obviously wasn’t! The asparagus was perfectly cooked and the cheesy dip a great little accompaniment.
Sea Bass with lemon herb butter, prawns and parsley
This was my favourite – delicately presented, delicious and buttery, something I would never make for myself so it’s always a treat to have. Matthew had a sumptuous plate of ravioli instead
Although the meat was tender and the flavours really tasty, a dish like this really is a bit big and burly for a tasting menu, especially served up with mash! We ended up getting it packed up to bring home. Matthew’s veggie alternative was a far lighter stuffed courgette dish.
A very chunky salad of avocado, roasted peppers, rocket, tomatoes and large fingers of toasted brioche – this was served up alongside the beef which was an odd pairing.
Desserts petit selection
Three little slices of tarts including creme anglaise, salted caramel and berry with some delicious home-made vanilla ice-cream on the side. Lush.
Coffee and chocolates
It’s always a treat to end a big meal with a smooth cup of coffee and a hand-made chocolate on the side
I think the Taster Menu is a fantastic idea that really taps into the way people like to eat these days. It’s great value and gives you the chance to try a variety of dishes. My only thoughts are that it would benefit from a couple of smaller portions of lighter dishes like the Risotto or the Lobster Cream Chicken Cocotte instead of the beef and chunky salad. Tasting menus should always be light and beautifully presented, the kind of dishes you only expect to eat in a restaurant.
Good value, hearty food in classy surroundings. This is the perfect place to go for a date night or a special family sunday lunch.
Win a meal for two!
To celebrate the launch of The Brasserie, the Grand Hotel are hosting a competition on their Facebook page, head on over for a chance to win a meal for two.
The Grand Hotel
14 Grand Parade
Bookings: 0191 293 6666
Mon – Thursday 12pm-9pm
Friday – Sat 12pm–10pm
Sunday Lunch 12pm-3pm
3pm-6pm Afternoon Tea
Disclosure: We were guests of The Brasserie, but all views are my own