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San Marino Italian Restaurant

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by Monica Turnbull (subscribe)
Budding journalist, aspiring presenter, hodgepodge of interests
Published July 11th 2012
San Marino Restaurant
Photo credit it to San Marino Restaurant
When you look at the exterior of San Marino you wouldn't expect this quaint restaurant to hold so many delights. The small business is owned by a family from the Amalfi coast, and has been serving up Italian cuisine for nearly 20 years.

I phoned in advance to book a table, and pre-ordered a bottle of prosecco. It was chilled, and on the table tucked away in a cosy corner of the restaurant ready for our arrival, a very nice touch.

The menu is varying and has a wide choice of Italian classics, and some not so common dishes. I ordered gamberoni in a white wine and garlic sauce to start, one of my guests had pate on toast, the other had mussels in a tomato and garlic sauce and we also shared garlic bread.

The gamberoni tasted just as good as it smelled: large succulent prawns with a lovely garlic taste, which was enough to make your mouth water. The mussels looked good too, and they were: a heap of shells swimming in scrumptious tomato and garlic sauce. The pate also got good review: buttery pate on toasted bread.
The garlic bread did not disappoint either, the soft base showed no sign of even coming close to burning and had a crispy crust.

San Marino pate
Photo credit it to San Marino Restaurant

For the main course I sampled the classic spaghetti carbonara. It wasn't too creamy, the pasta was al dente and the slightly smoky ham complimented the creamy sauce to perfection.

My fellow diners had a steak with pate, and spaghetti scogliera. The steak was cooked very well to order, the pate was smooth and sat very nicely with the steak; the sauce was sublime too, a slightly sweet gravy which set the savoury taste of the dish off amazingly well.

My seafood loving friend said the scogliera was excellent, a simple tomato sauce accompanied by mounds of mussels, shrimps and king prawns.

No attempt was made at dessert; instead we opted for a Tia Maria coffee that was dessert enough in itself. One of my guests had a coffee and sambuca, and the other had profiteroles, which received fantastic review.

The meal, including the drinks, cost around a reasonable 90.00, very good price for high quality service and food.

For more information call 0191 565 3845 or visit

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Why? The small business is owned by a family from the Amalfi coast, and has been serving up Italian cuisine for nearly 20 years.
When: Monday-Saturday : 5.00pm - 10.30pm
Where: 141, Chester Road, Sunderland SR4 7HS
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