The Italian Farmhouse at West Rainton near Durham is one of our favourite local eating spots, so we were delighted to discover that the same formula was being repeated at the Roker Hotel. We decided to try it out virtually as soon as it opened and we're glad we got in fast because I suspect it's going to be very busy!
The place itself has been transformed with an eclectic and trendy design. The fact that pizzas are the star of the show is highlighted by the word literally in lights against the back wall, in the dining area which is hung with dozens of white lampshades. The real showstopper however is the biggest pizza oven I've ever seen, which could probably accommodate a small family.
Staff are knowledgeable and friendly and the menu is simply superb. We decided to share a range of cicchetti - Italian tapas -for starters so our party enjoyed everything from chicken livers (my husband and his friend said they were the most delicious thing they'd ever tasted) to arancini - deep friend risotto balls stuffed with cheese which came with a beautiful salsa. Three of us had pizzas because this is clearly going to be a speciality - and we weren't disappointed.
They were simply amazing and - dare I say it - actually better than some we've had in Italy.
This restaurant is going to be a fantastic addition to Sunderland and we can't wait to go back,.
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