We really are lucky ducks at the moment with a burgeoning foodie scene in the Toon. I had made a plan to review now defunct Escobars, a Brazilian Rodizio. With Mr. Canny’s heritage I thought we could offer an honest opinion on whether it lived up to their claims of an ‘authentic’ experience. After no response to telephone calls and booking e-mails we walked past to see a new name over the door – Solano’s.
It is billed as the only Peruvian restaurant outside of London, so quite a coup for Newcastle. The opening was shrouded in secrecy until an announcement was made that there was to be a launch party on the 18th. It was unfortunate it happened to coincide with mine and Mr. Canny’s anniversary, but he agreed we could go along and have a nose round. North East owners Chris Levee, Alfonso Yanez and Linda Deacon invested £100,000 in the restaurant to resurrect the Escobars site.
I was sent the menu ahead of time, which gave me an idea of some of the dishes that were going to be served from the 20th June. The restaurant opens just in time for Father’s Day, and lucky Dads get a free drink on the day. Diners can expect dishes like Seco de Cordero – lamb cooked in coriander with crispy cassava and rice – and Bisteck a lo Pobre – a 10oz steak cooked to order, topped with a fried egg and plaintain. I’m hoping, in future, to try their Pisco Sours and Pina en Salsa de Ron – a Rum & Pineapple dessert. In Brazil they serve Abacaxi dusted with cinnamon, which I’ve enjoyed in restaurants like Fazenda previously.
We were greeted by Ginger Beer (Chilano de Pisco) and Strawberry Cocktails (de Fresca) when we arrived, and seated in the dining area to enjoy an array of sample dishes taken from the menu. As I’m not a fish eater I allowed Mr. Canny to take the lead in trying out the food, which he said were enjoyable.
The above photos are Choritos a la Chalaca (mussels with sweetcorn, onions and tomatoes), Ceviche de Pescado (fresh fish ‘cooked’ by lime and lemon juice) and Aji de Pollo (chicken breast served in a mild spicy cheese sauce with mashed potato). As it was a school night we couldn’t stay too late, but were told there was going to be live music later on from a Peruvian band. The event was attended by some Look North presenters, but the person who seemed to get the most attention was the gentleman who played Jeff in Byker Grove! I have to admit I didn’t recognise him as he’s changed a lot over the years, and it took Lady from a Tramp to point him out.
The restaurant is tastefullly decorated and the staff seem friendly and attentive. The menu selection is good, and vegetarians are well catered for. We’re looking forward to returning to Solano’s to sample the menu in full soon.
Thanks for reading,
Many thanks to Catherine from CPR Communications for inviting us along, and Solano’s for their hospitality.