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“Welcome winter sunshine”
Review of San Marino's

San Marino's
Ranked #8 of 439 Restaurants in Sunderland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $6 - $24
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Reviewed February 8, 2014

Having been spoilt as a child with trips to Italy, I've had few memorable Italian meals in England. Unless it's Quaglino's, there tend to be few surprises when you read the menu, and it's usually a list of 'the usual suspects'. Rarely is there a quirky regional dish, and I've never quite understood why, all these years after Elisabeth David, Italian restaurants seem to make little effort to differentiate themselves from all other Italian restaurants.

There was a surprise on the specials board; a fresh sardine dish, and I chose that, washed down with a quite exceptional Pinot Grigio. This was fine-dining quality food, served without the snobbery that some restaurants seem to put on to compensate for a run of the mill set of menu choices, and (Italians don't do it in Italy, why in England?) frequent overdoses of overheated garlic (probably not fresh enough) drowned in second-rate olive oil.

The decor is comfortable without being flashy. Maybe I'm getting old, but I'd have liked just a little more light - perhaps to compensate for the grim wet windy darkness outside (I'm addicted to the odd inter-course cigarette) nevertheless the staff were efficient without making us feel hurried.

A big 'test' for us is whether we will be back again, which is more than just about the food (although places that do better than we can at home always score highly) but is also about the atmosphere, and my only regret was that we had to go home at the end of the evening. Otherwise I might have ordered another pudding and enjoyed a grappa or two.

We will, as Arnie says, be back!

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1  Thank Grame F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (304)
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271 - 275 of 304 reviews

Reviewed February 6, 2014

I was really looking forward to visiting San Marino which used to be an old favourite. I visited as a party of 7 on a friday night. The restaurant was very busy, and new interior a lovely improvement. We waited around 15-20 minutes to have our order taken. The focaccia bread was beautiful,I ordered pizza for my main but when it arrived the dough was very thick,and seemed un-cooked.It certainly did not look or taste like an italian pizza. Such a shame as I so wanted it to be the good old San Marino I remembered. I am hoping maybe it was just a bad night!

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Thank MackemLass30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2014

I recently visited San Marino's with my partner and as I walked in was very surprised of the new interior, it seemed a lot more spacious and modern, yet it hasn't lost its Italian influence. We received a warm and friendly welcome and decided to opt for a generous portion of Italian anti-pasto (good selection for those like me who can't decide on one starter). I opted for truffle tagliatelle (this was on the special board, the truffle was just the right amount - delicious! My partner had the home made lasagne and we just about had enough room left for tiramisu! well even if the diets failed in January - I was left feeling satisfied and looking forward to my next trip back!

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Thank Izzy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2014

I recently visited San Marino with family, the food was excellent, we all enjoyed it, the atmosphere was homely and warm and the service was very friendly and informative - Great value for money, I would definitely go again!

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Thank flappyfletcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2014

Very bland and basic have cooked more authentic italian at home. However price reflects and very friendly service

Thank Shazzam1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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