Tucked away in the George Washington Hotel, Carter & Fitch is a new heavy hitter on the South of Tyne dining scene. Given the size of Washington and the captive audience of hotel guests, restaurants have always been lacking in the area.
This is where the £500,000 investment in the dining venue starts to earn its keep.
Arriving for dinner midweek, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, with most of the clients being business travellers. With a fair mix of animated colleagues chatting and solo diners reading a book while chowing down, we settled ourselves at a table in the bar area and dove straight in with the menu while soaking up the eclectic decor. A chic blend of statement lights and industrial exposed brick work sitting next to replica antique Moorish tiling and Oriental inspired fabric on the chairs. With a great cocktail list and small plates, I can really see this place being a hit on a Saturday afternoon for some catching up with friends.
Combing Italian tapas – Cicchetti – with an all american grill house vibe, Carter & Fitch combine something for everyone. The handmade pizzas were flying out of the dedicated oven on our visit and made us wish we had ordered one as they were wafer thin. Mmm!
The Cicchetti came served on the small side and it was recommended we picked 2 each to try as our starter. Once we received the plate we wished we had, but once the main course landed, boy were we glad we only picked 1 each!
The Albondigas (£3.50) came in their own dinky little earthenware dish, served stuffed with delicious meatballs, tomato sauce and topped with gooey melted cheese. Surprisingly filling, it hit the spot with a hungry diner! It would make a great main portion!
The Prosciutto and Reggiano Parmegiano (£4.50) was a great little dish to whet the whistle. Pretty self explanatory, the meat was served alongside the shavings of cheese and a small salad garnish. Had the salad been dressed, it would have been perfect. I can definitely see this going down VERY well as a bar snack, in the summer with an ice cold glass of wine in hand. A basic dish, executed as well as you’d expect. It’s simplicity was refreshing.
On to the main event. The House Burger (£13.50) was absolutely stonking. Just the right size to tackle without cutting, the patty was juicy and went well with the crisp smokey bacon. Served with fries and a side salad, this dish would fill up even the biggest of appetites.
With Bierrex providing our favourite brisket in the region, we thought it only right to try the Texas Style Pitmaster Brisket (£13.50) to compare. This is where we both go dreamy eyed and gooey. This was incredible. A ginormous stack of well smoked BBQ meat smothered in bourbon BBQ sauce with extra on the side, oh stop, you’re too much. The sauce was addictive and if that wasn’t good enough, to accompany the dish you can pick any 2 sides from the menu. Blimey. With a blue cheese iceberg wedge and chilli beef poutine fries to contend with, this platter for 1 soon become a sharing platter with gusto.
Everything on the plate was perfectly done and this 1 dish alone will be the reason we return and have since recommended to anyone who will listen. Just writing about it now, we are both drooling.
With no room left for a substantial pudding, we managed to force down our very favourite item to ever seen on a local menu – Beckleberries Sour Cherry and Amaretto sorbet. I’d eat this stuff for every meal if I could. It was a nice touch to see a local business supporting other local suppliers. We approve of this!