A laid-back, funky bar and restaurant on Market Street – just off Grey Street, on the corner of Theatre Royal. Popular with the city’s younger crowd and students, it’s a no-frills, stripped-back hang out, packed with urban edge, known for its impressive range of craft beers, sensational sourdough pizzas and prime cuts of meats, showcased in its burgers and charcuterie boards. The finest coffee, too, from the guys over at Pink Lane Coffee, but what else do you expect from one of Newcastle’s most famous Italian families, the De Giorgi’s?
Ruby red leather booths, bold and bespoke artwork and eye-catching prints, created from some of the region’s leading artists, spattered across the walls, a main bar made out of steel and wood, electric neon signage and hanging industrial-style lighting. A little bit ‘grime’, a little bit American, a little bit Italian, all rolled into one. Not somewhere you take the other half for an intimate, candlelit dinner. Definitely somewhere you take your mates to for weekend carby goodness, topped off with ice-cold beer, fun cocktails – all unique to DAT – and plenty of laughs. It comes alive on Saturday night; the neon zings, the (great) music gets turned up, the conversation gets louder and the pizzas just seem to get bigger and bigger.
Having teamed up with a number of local breweries, as well as few stand-out makers from around the world, DAT serves up an impressive range of boozy treats, from speciality cocktails (£6 each), spirits and wine, to over 50 types of ale and beer (you’ll see 20 ever-changing taps behind the bar). With names like ‘Banana Eater’, ‘Wor Mary’s Daisy’, ‘Spritz the Cat’ and ‘Tears of Havana’, we knew we were in for a fun treat when ordering from the cocktail menu. Favourites on the night muddled tequila with pineapple ‘jam’ and lime juice, sugar snap pea-infused gin (go with us on this one) with rose liqueur and rose lemonade, and Aperol, citrus vodka and prosecco. Big, big flavour combos we hadn’t tasted anywhere else. Great stuff.
A really well-balanced and inventive menu, suitable for meat-eaters, veggies and vegans, too. It’s one of Newcastle’s most popular spots of plant-based grub, going above and beyond the usual falafel, salad and flatbread offering. Here, vegans are treated to all kinds of mouthwatering dishes, from hearty pasta dishes (£8-£10), including oozy risotto and good old mac ‘n’ cheese, to sweet potato and lentil casserole, vibrant mounds of salads, made perky with crisp veggies, nuts, seeds and fruits and steaming, brothy bowls of Italian soup, simple and rustic, as they should be. For meat-eaters, there are half a dozen burgers (£8-£12) to choose from, some made with beef, dry-aged in Europe’s first Himalayan salt chamber (over in Ireland), others showcasing melt-in-the-mouth pulled pork, charred and juicy Goosenargh chicken breast and Calabrian sausage for a spicy kick. There are tapas-style options, too, if that’s more your kind of thing, or if you’re visiting with a group of chums (pick your favourite charcuterie, antipasti or cheese board with pair a few side plates – yum). Mains, meanwhile, include pan-grilled tuna and slabs of steak, and the desserts (everything from rum and raisin banana split and chocolate lava cake, to cheesecake and sticky toffee pudding – all £6-£6.50) are all super sweet and naughty. The pizza and pasta options (£7-£12) are some of the best in the city. Bubbling, sloppy, crisp, doughy, rich, sweet, savoury, herby, cheesy… there’s something for everyone.
What we ate
We took our vegan buddy for a Saturday treat – and ended up trying one too many pasta dishes. But since when is that a bad thing? Believe us when we say the sweet potato mac ‘n’ cheese (£10) is a winner – and you’d have no idea it was vegan. Tender pasta, smothered in a mix of vegan cheeses; velvety bechamel, made with soya, stringy “mozzarisella”, vegan blue cheese (just as creamy and stinky as the real stuff), tangles of caramelised onions, cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of breadcrumbs. Super indulgent stuff, gently baked ’til bubbling, that we ended up sharing – because it’s just too good not to. We mopped up the remaining sauce with a few slices of the toasted sourdough bruschetta (£6), topped with tenderstem broccoli, fine beans and spinach, a good glug of olive oil, lemon zest and fresh garlic for some punch. There was the orecchiette (£10), too, tossed with roasted cauliflower, almonds, lemon, parsley and more of that soya bechamel – a light and zingy pasta dish, perfect for spring. For us, it just had to be pizza – though deciding on which one, proved rather difficult. Ordering a slice of something ‘simple’ here might mean traditional margherita or a four-cheese mix, whereas going down the ‘classic’ route might see you tucking in to the kitchen’s version of a bolognese, roasted veggies with parmesan aplenty, or ham, salami and mascarpone. Then, there’s the ‘luxe’ options (great name) – for those really wanting to push the boat out. Posh pizzas, if you will, topped with all kind of artisan ingredients. We were craving meaty goodness, so settled on the ‘Ava Rose’ (£10) in the end; a crisp, thin base, with sloppy spoonfuls of tender beef featherblade ragu and a flurry of proper parmesan, white as snow, for some heat. We added a mix of caramelised onions, chestnut mushrooms and fire-roasted red peppers because, well, why not? Our other mate went for the ‘Salsicce’ (£12) – a ‘luxe’ number, combining juicy San Marzano tomatoes, plump as you like, Fior Di Latte mozzarella and creamy mascarpone, and fresh fennel and chilli sausage nuggets. Divine – and well worth the bloat. Weekend carbs – who could live without them?