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“Very much improved but not perfect”

The Restaurant at Jesmond Dene House
Ranked #129 of 1,271 Restaurants in Newcastle upon Tyne
Price range: $20 - $65
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Matthew Bank
Transit: Ilford Road
Description: Our award-winning Restaurant (three AA Rosettes) is based on simple but firm principles. We start with the best ingredients we can find, preferably local (some from the hotel garden), and we believe taste is more important than style. Our Head Chef, Michael Penaluna, and his team, make it their business to get to know our suppliers, then use their skills to produce dishes that enhance rather than confuse the flavours. Classic techniques but a contemporary approach to produce Modern British dishes that are light, fresh, flavoursome. Whether you fancy our breakfast which is bigger, tastier and healthier than ever, great value Lunch Menu, House Menu Dinner Menu, you'll find an atmosphere that's warm, relaxed and friendly. Our Restaurant has two dining areas: the former music room with earthy tones and fun splashes or orange and the light and leafy Garden Room with its summer terrace.
Newcastle upon Tyne
Level 6 Contributor
130 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“Very much improved but not perfect”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

I've not eaten here for a few years after a couple of expensive dinners spoiled by a combination of poor service and cold meals, caused, I think by the distance between the basement kitchen and the ground-floor dining room.

We had a table for two on a weekday evening.

The room nicely decorated, although the faux-Victorian library look is beginning to date. Cleverly chosen light fittings and clever bits-and-pieces on the shelves.

The young, eager, apparently local, staff were a delight. The exception was the supercilious sommelier. But hey! Some people might like being looked down on when choosing wine.

We went with the a la cart dinner menu.

Now, we are paying a lot of money for this fine-dining experience and, in a grand dining room with uniformed waiters, linen napery, multiple menus and all the trappings of a high-end restaurant. Why then does the waiter serve the amuse bouche of gaspacho with the announcement that it is a "COMPLIMENTARY AMUSE BOUCHE from THE CHEF"? Do many local diners with this much to spend not know/expect that they may get a cup of summat or a bite of summat to put them on while waiting for their starter, much as prawn crackers in a Chinese restaurant. The same happened at the end of the meal, when the coffee was accompanied by "COMPLIMENTARY PETIT FOURS". In both cases the emphasis is mine but the young waiter was clearly at great pains to make us understand that these bits and pieces that we were about to enjoy but hadn't ordered were not going to be charged for. I've never come across it elsewhere.

We both had the same starter: seared veal sweetbreads. You can no longer buy them in a butcher, presumably because they all gravitate to the restaurant trade. Then again, very few restaurants serve them. How were they? Well, the "meat" of the glands was perfectly cooked; soft, unctuous and sweet. However, they tasted oily and as if they had been "seared" in stale, used fat. The jus was over-reduced and verging on Bovril.

The halibut main was fine. The lobster main was a mixed experience. The (small) lobster tail was perfectly tasty. Where was the claw meat? Perhaps in the tortellini? If so it was a VERY small lobster. The contents of the tortellini tasted of - nothing. Was there supposed to be lobster in it? I know lobster is expensive but I expect to see more of the arthropod for £35:00. The trimmings were tasty.

The rhubarb desserts were a triumph and better than anything else we ate.

The cheeses were well-chosen and well-kept. The waiter even knew what each cheese was and what is was likely to taste like. Increasingly unusual to find a waiter who knows anything about the cheeses on the chariot!

As seems to be the pattern with British restaurants, the service which has excelled up to pudding then fell off. Getting coffee, the bill and a taxi took an age. However, once we got to the taxi bit the staff were infinitely helpful in getting us the right taxi to cope with my disability.

We will certainly go back in the hope hat hey have continued to improve.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank cancerdoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Newcastle, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
275 reviews
121 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 211 helpful votes
“Absolutely gorgeous Afternoon Tea”
Reviewed September 1, 2013

Stylish old house and thoughtfully refurbished in contemporary fashion. Booked for afternoon tea and were met at the entrance door and shown to a lounge before being taken through to the restaurant by the maitre d.

Jesmond Dene House clearly popular for afternoon tea and seems to be served in a number of lounges as well as the restaurant. Reputation of JDH is well deserved.

The choice of sandwiches, scones, cakes and pastries was both colourful and delicious. Endless tea and coffee served by efficient waiting staff. What more could you want?

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank DeeGeeEmm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newcastle upon tyne
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Taster meal to die for.”
Reviewed September 1, 2013 via mobile

I have been here before during the day for lunch but never on an evening. As it was a special occasion went for the taster menu.. staff wher really nice amd very accommodating to our needs with a few changes to the menu. Was a very relaxed atmosphere. Homemade breadsat the centre of our table. We were given the choice of 3 butter salted, unsalted, a new s seaweed. We got the salted as well as the seaweed as we wanted to try it. We were not disappointed. All the dishes were presented beautifully. And the staff went on to èxplain everything on the plate. We had such an amazing night. I would recommend Jesmond dene house for food. We will be back very soon. Thanks for a Special night.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank kellydickinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Afternoon Tea”
Reviewed September 1, 2013

For a special birthday treat we went to Jesmond Dene House for Afternoon Tea. We decided on the champagne option, a great choice for those who enjoy a bit of luxury. From our initial arrival to our departure we were made to feel special. The service and food was excellent.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Alison S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
“Restaurant very dissapointing”
Reviewed August 29, 2013

Service was poor, wine did not arrive with courses and even though restaurant was nearly empty we were put opposite service door which gave a very uninspiring view into the kitchen (great if an orchestrated effect but this was not). Delicious sweet scallops came hot, on a freezing cold plate with cold cauliflower puree and sauce, it troubled you, "is this meant to be cold or has it been sat around for a while"?. I subsequently complained to manager on phone, he could not explain but suggested it may have been a "play on temperatures", have heard of plays on textures, heat, etc.....not convinced and at £15 each this starter was not right. Main courses (mine described as steak with chips and béarnaise sauce) both came in jus, in fact mine was swimming in the stuff and accompanied on the plate by numerous interesting but unrequested garden vegetables. I was told when I mentioned this that the restaurant was trying to keep to fine dining. I am sorry, if you order a steak and chips you do not want a steak soaked in gravy with veg, there is nothing "fine dining" about that. Yes there was a pot of very average chips on side and some under seasoned béarnaise sauce, but providing those things does not give free licence to put what ever you like on the plate with the steak. If the likes of Hawksmoor can do it surely JDH can? I had been looking forward to a desert but the meal ended abruptly there. Oh dear.

    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CU7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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