What a job it was to find an Italian on a quiet Sunday evening in Sunderland.
We went through a few on Trip Advisor, but all were closed. Then we tried Yellow Pages, most were closed as well, except this one - Marcellos.
On the corner of Albion Street in Sunderland, there is a car park on the next corner, we were advised by a Taxi driver when asking for directions to park, not to park on the street.
A nice looking building, we went in and were faced with two doors. On one door was a note "This side closed, use other door and walk down the stairs", so we did.
This took us underground to a cellar restaurant, I love places like this, they are so atmospheric and cosy.
We were shown to a table with a horribly stained tablecloth, one I wouldn't have minded one stain but there was a good 4 or 5 different splodges. The waiter came to light the candle but we asked not to have it (flickering lights cause headaches).
Menu looked good, but the Veggie options were mainly mushrooms - Mushroom pasta and Mushroom Risotto, and a vegetable pizza.
I ordered a 50cl bottle of wine, perfect size, but the wine was pretty rough to be honest. Didn't drink it all, and that is not like me !!
We were brought a slice of bread and given a pat of butter while we looked at the menu.
A really lovely waitress came to take the order and as I fancied mushrooms for starter, I didn't really want them for mains too, so I asked if a dish could be adapted, she had only been there for two days so she went of to get (the manageress?) "Sophia".
When Sophia came over she reached for the candle on the recently vacated table next to us, to put on our table, I politely declined it explaining we didn't like the flickering, to which she slammed it back on the table in a really abrupt manner, like she was having a strop! We could hardly keep a straight face. Anyway, yes, the main could be adapted.
So, I went for the Mushroom starter - A mixture of mushrooms in a cream and whisky sauce on a toasted ciabatta.
The mushrooms were delicious, the different types of mushroom made a pleasant change from just having button mushrooms, and the sauce was really nice, however the bread was half an untoasted roll which was as tough as old boots !
Hubby ordered Garlic Pizza Bread.
It arrived and it was massive !! But he struggled to eat it, well actually he struggled to cut it, in his own words he said it was like "trying to cut through an old tea-towel" he nearly asked for a steak knife. Also they had thrown a good handful of dried herbs in the middle, which clogged up the mouth, so he left the centre.
We were feeling a little dissapointed at the point, and wondering what on earth the mains would be like.
I had ordered a Prawn, Courgette Pasta in a Saffron Sauce (without Prawns), and they totally redeemed themselves. It was delicious, the pasta was beautiful and buttery, tasted fresh and home-made. Really really enjoyed it and was dissapointed I couldn't finish it all.
Hubby had Lasagne, it looked very good, with loads of layers. Again, they redeemed themselves, he said it was lovely.
The bill (not including tip) was around £35 which was for two starters, two mains, a 50cl bottle of wine and a soft drink.
So, I would happily recommend the pasta, but avoid the pizza unless you want jaw ache :)
Here is their website with all their details on it.