I think eating out was one of the things that I missed the most during lockdown. To me, there is nothing better than getting all glammed up to go out for food and a few glasses of Pinot – ahhh bliss. I am well and truly doing my bit for the economy as I have eaten out more than once a week since the restaurants re-opened (my bank account is screaming). So, I decided to put together my top 5 restaurant meals post lockdown.
5. The Pickled Parson of Sedgefield
I have eaten at the Pickled Parson twice since it re-opened, once on a double date and the second time with the girls for my friends birthday tea. The decor is beautiful, the light wood tables, rose gold detailing and low lighting creates the perfect dinner time atmosphere.
On my first visit, I had the PPOS burger which came on a wooden slab with fries, slaw and salad. The burger consisted of two Aberdeen Angus patties, cheese and burger sauce in a brioche bun topped with a gherkin (my favourite part).
On my second visit, we went on one of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ days and the offer was 3 courses for £15. For a starter, I had a watermelon and feta salad, followed by a chicken katsu curry and then a sticky toffee pudding for dessert. I’m not really a dessert person but wow, the sticky toffee pudding was to die for.
Overall, the food was amazing and I cleared every plate I had! The only thing to note if you are planning to go there for a drink and sit outside in the sun is that everything is served in a plastic cup. I got a gin and tonic which was around £7-£8 and it was served in a tiny, disposable plastic cup which you would get from a water dispenser… and it cracked! I totally get that they may need to serve drinks in plastic cups outside, I’m not faulting that, but maybe they should invest in some more sturdy and sustainable cups for serving gin outside.
4. Lost Property Seafood & Steak – Yarm
Lost Property in Yarm was the first restaurant I visited after lockdown and I was so excited as I have wanted to try it for ages! For a starter, my friend and I shared the seafood platter, which consisted of battered salmon, scallops, calamari and shell-on prawns on a bed of samphire and spinach. I was so impressed at the size of the scallops and prawns (they reminded me of seafood you would get on holiday abroad!) and how fresh everything tasted. For my main, I ordered the rump steak, medium rare with sweet potato wedges, roasted tomato, mushrooms, Diane sauce and some more shell-on prawns. It was one of the nicest steak dinners I have ever had! The rump had so much flavour and was really tender. I definitely recommend Lost Property if you are into your surf and turfs.
3. Julia & Sofia’s Italian – Sedgefield
Julia & Sofia’s is probably my go-to restaurant for any occasion at the moment! I have been several times and I have never been disappointed. The service is impeccable, probably the best service I’ve had in a restaurant in a long time, and the food is even better. The menu has so much choice, there is a wide range of seafood, pasta, pizza, steaks and more. My favourite dish that I have had at Julia & Sofia’s has got to be the Lobster Linguine from the specials board. The dish consisted of half a lobster in its shell served on a bed of spicy linguine. Lobster is one of my favourite kinds of seafood but, it is obviously something that I don’t have very often! On this occasion, I had just found out that I had achieved a first-class honours degree so, I was celebrating! The food at Julia & Sofia’s is also very well priced and the portions are a perfect size.
The restaurant has a very chilled and friendly vibe and it really is perfect for celebration dinners or just a mid-week tea. Only thing I would say is that they could do so much more with the decor but, that is me being really picky!
2. SALT Street Food Kitchen – Darlington
Where do I even start with this one… So, technically this doesn’t count as ‘eating out’ because during lockdown SALT have been offering a takeaway service, but I couldn’t leave them out of this post as this is some of the best food I have had in a long time.
SALT Kitchen is a street food restaurant located on Grange Road in Darlington. They serve a range of burgers, loaded fries, chicken wings and quesadillas for amazing prices! The quality of the food is outstanding and very consistent. I have ordered three times from SALT in the space of a month and it has been incredible every time.
I recommend the Two Time Burger, which is 2 patties with fried onions, lettuce, cheese, burger sauce and fresh, crunchy onions. Honestly, it is the BEST burger I have ever had… ever. I always go for the burger fries which are covered in burger sauce and crispy onions. The Korean chicken wings are also a must! Considering I have never been a fan of chicken wings, SALT have somehow made me obsessed with them?! They are in the tastiest batter and covered in BBQ sauce with fresh chilli’s – AMAZING. The quesadillas are also unreal, they are filled generously with Lebanese chicken and cheese. My boyfriend also swears by the Murphy Slaw burger! Honestly, I don’t think you can really go wrong ordering from here.
This week SALT has opened for dining in and they have released a new cocktail menu. They are also taking part in the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme which is an added bonus. I need to try to get booked in ASAP!
1. The Ivy – St Helen’s Square, York
My boyfriend and I booked up our first night away after lockdown in York, we decided to treat ourselves and have a date night at The Ivy. First of all, the building and decor are stunning. The front door is surrounded by a gorgeous floral display (which I stupidly didn’t get a picture of… I think I was far too excited for food). The attention to detail in here is amazing, everything is just beautiful and perfect. You get your temperature checked on the way in which makes you feel very safe.
For a starter, I had the crab and apple salad which came topped with watermelon, avocado and edamame beans. It has got to be the most beautifully presented starter I have ever had, and it tasted just as good! I then went for the Monkfish and Prawn Curry with Jasmine Rice which was so tasty and light. Instead of a dessert, I opted for a cocktail, I had the English Spritz which was so refreshing.
I couldn’t fault our experience at The Ivy at all. The service was brilliant, they were very attentive and made you feel very welcome. The atmosphere was perfect for a special date night, there was jazz music playing and it felt busy but not crowded. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will defiantly be returning.
I hope you enjoyed reading about all this amazing food… I am now extremely hungry after writing this! If you are interested in seeing what restaurants I visit and what I’m cooking at home please give my foodie Instagram page a follow @georgiamayscooking
Thank you so much for reading,
Georgia May X