Angelo’s Ristorante – West Sunniside, Sunderland.
IT was my sister’s birthday so I decided to treat her to a bite to eat.
It was all a bit last minute as she wasn’t sure what her plans were, but it was a Monday night so there was no need to book.
I mean, who goes out to eat on a Monday at 6.30pm, right?
Wrong. It seems half of Sunderland had decided to descend on Angelo’s just before we walked through the door, scuppering our plans for a quiet celebration.
Thankfully, Angelo’s is well prepared for a surge of hungry customers and has a pleasant bar area at the front complete with sofas and tables for diners to sit and sip on their drinks.
After about 20 minutes, we were led into the deceptively-spacious back room and shown to our tables.
The wait gave us plenty of time to whip up an appetite and just as we were about to voice our concerns about how long we’d have to wait for our starters, a basket of bread and butter landed on our table.
Munching on super-soft bread, we took our time deciding what real food was going to fill our bellies.
Being a vegetarian, a common factor my sister finds when it comes to eating out is the lack of variety that often sits on menus.
Italian restaurants often fall back on the plain margarita pizza or a tomato and veg-based pasta dish to appease veggie customers.
However, here there was a selection of dishes to get the saliva flowing.
Tempted by the exotic sounding sfogliata con funghi e purea di patate (£10.95) – a puff pastry basket filled with sauteed mushrooms, garlic and parsley topped with creamed potatoes between you and me – she changed her mind at the last minute and went for the mushroom stroganoff (£11.50).
I settled for the king prawns with garlic sauce (£15) and my husband went for the oven-roasted cod fillet served with mussels, tomatoes, garlic, parsley and croutons.
Greed got the best of us and we decided to order a bowl of chips to share, which never actually arrived.
It seems fate was out to play and there was no way, after eating the generous portions of food put in front of us, we could have eaten another scrap of food.
Polishing off the bottle of wine, we let the food digest before paying the bill, which came to £47, and leaving our table so more of the crowds of people waiting in the bar area could be seated.
Lesson learnt. Next time – yes there will definitely be a next time – we’ll book a table.