[Seahouses, Northumberland] Insieme

We picked Insieme for dinner on the first night of a week’s stay in the area, mainly because it was just down the road from where we were staying. We’ve been before. It was OK then and it was OK now. Just the sort of Anglicised Italian place you’d expect to find in a village or small town. It was busy on a Saturday night and noisy, with sound bouncing off the hard surfaces, so making conversation difficult, but perhaps that’s better than a really quiet restaurant.

Calamari felt like they’d made the short journey from freezer to fryer. Reasonably crisp, if a tad chewy. They came with garlic mayo for dunking and a handful of salad leaves. My partner came over all John Torode on Masterchef, describing their starter. “You’ve got the flavours bang on, but your presentation is a bit of a dog’s breakfast.” There’s a couple of big fat juicy scallops, a couple of slices of black pudding, salad leaves and a scattering of pancetta. But it all looked as though it had just been tossed randomly on the plate. It could so easily have looked much more appetising.

The scallops were followed by a pizza margherita, which seemed more Morrisons than Masterchef. And, oddly, it was very difficult to cut. My calzone was much better. And a very generous serving stuffed with ham, mushroom, onion, mozzarella and peperoni. And covered with a tasty tomato sauce. Now, it has to be said that these were the second attempt to serve us main courses. Never had this happen anywhere before, but the first attempt saw them arrive only shortly after the starters. Of course, there was an apology and the pizzas were taken away and remade but, clearly, there was some lack of communication in the kitchen.

We didn’t bother with dessert.