The other day we decided that it was about time we checked out one of the Newcastle restaurants that has been on our list for a while now – Pleased to Meet You. The popular gin bar expanded last year and opened a new restaurant with top chef David Kennedy at the helm.
We took advantage of the free parking after 5pm on Dean Street and headed up the road, keeping our fingers crossed for a table as it was Newcastle Restaurant Week. We needn’t have worried as it was early and we soon got seated.
Lots of exposed brick and wood with a few flourishes, the restaurant still felt genuine and had good ambience (the Mr is ALL about the ambience!) The NE1 Restaurant Week offer was 2 courses for £10 or 3 for £15, with a pared down menu still embracing all the things that David Kennedy stands for. I’d been looking forward to eating at PTMY since the notorious chef took over, having enjoyed what he’d done over at Vallum Farm.
We settled on Murray’s grilled focaccia, Summer tomato salad, shallots for him and chicken liver parfait, sourdough croutons, gooseberry ketchup for me. The Mr was a little disappointed that the chicken liver parfait contained dairy as he is lactose intolerant but was happy enough to go with the non-dairy option.
He was delighted with his starter. Fresh, sweet tomatoes did all the talking (great quality, cooked simply) with a simple garlic topped bread finishing off the dish. My pate was delicious, light and creamy with the earthy flavour of the chicken liver complimented perfectly by the gooseberry sauce and sourdough croutons. It even got the thumbs up from Little Dude (he’s quite the toddler connoisseur). My only disappointment was that it didn’t come with more of the croutons as I had lots of pate left over.
The soundtrack to our meal was (I think) Radio 1 Live lounge sessions, which gave the place a nice chilled vibe. Sitting by the window afforded a great people watching spot, with LD waving at passers by.
While waiting for our mains staff provided the entertainment by bursting into song when an Adele track came on, which I found quite amusing but the Mr less so (not a fan of pop).
For the main course Mr chose oven baked white fish, buttered greens and herb breadcrumbs. He assumed the fish option would come with some form of carbohydrate. Unfortunately it didn’t and although he said was it was tasty enough he was surprised that staff hadn’t recommended he order a side of potatoes to go with it. Luckilly LD’s half portion of fish & chips (no kids menu here, but they will half any main course on the menu) was absolutely massive and he had some of his chips.
My main course however was excellent. Creamy mash that I could only dream of getting so smooth, pork belly so succulent it fell apart in my mouth and apple sauce that complemented it all perfectly. The pancetta and sage crisps added a bit of crunch and the kale made it all completely virtuous(!) The Mr certainly had food envy.
Having a quick nosey out the back at the beer garden (that term doesn’t do it justice, there are beach huts and everything!) we bumped into the Twitchiker aka Paul Smith, the first man to travel the world relying solely on the kindness of strangers via Twitter. This is clearly the place to be! We could’ve stayed longer and sipped some cocktails in the oasis but LD’s bedtime beckoned.
We paid our bill, which at just shy of £30 was extremely reasonable although if the Mr hadn’t had some of LD’s chips I think he would’ve been leaving hungry. He also felt there was too much similarity in his tomato-based starter and main, which a restaurant of PTMY’s standing should have avoided. We will be back when it’s not Newcastle Restaurant Week to see how the standard menu compares, if it’s anything as good as my meal I’ll be happy!
Please to Meet You is located at 41-51 High Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1EW.