Gemelli’s is an amazing hidden gem of a restaurant on Bridge Street in Newport. I discovered this gorgeous Italian restaurant a few years ago and have been back several times due to the relaxing atmosphere, brilliant service and amazing desserts. It is one of my favourite restaurants as it serves huge portions of tasty at realistic prices. Also despite it being a fine dining establishment I never feel uncomfortable there, it’s classy without being snobby.
A couple of years ago, a new Gemelli’s opened up in another area of Newport, Spytty retail park. This new restaurant is situated inside a Tesco’s! Yes that’s right, a beautiful Italian restaurant opened up inside a gigantic supermarket! Now don’t get me wrong, I love Tesco’s as much as the next girl. I like their Clubcard offers, I like their clothing range (especially the kids wear) and I love their bargain prices. But do I love Tesco’s enough to don my glad rags and head over there for a night out? I think not!
So for this reason I have avoided this restaurant and carried on going to the original Gemelli’s. However, a few of my friends love this restaurant and it opens earlier in the evening than the other one so last Thursday after work I found myself heading over to Tesco’s for a night of fine dining.
The restaurants entrance is on the ground floor before you actually get to the supermarket department and is an archway covered in fake vine leaves, leading you to the actual restaurant. Once inside we were seated to our table and given time to choose our drinks. As I was driving I stuck to water but 2 of my friends ordered a bottle of Rose. The bottle was brought over and the waitress offered to let them taste it and then the bottle was decanted into a beautiful glass decanter which sat in a dish on our table.
1 member of our party wanted a starter but the rest of us didn’t really fancy one. This restaurant is famous for its handmade high quality desserts so I wanted to leave room for that. My friend Kelly and I decided to order some bread and olives to share, I hate olives but I love bread so it worked out well for us.
When the starters arrived our portion was huge. There were at least 6 different types of bread on a serving platter with oil for dipping. The olives arrived along with sundried tomatoes in a little gondola shaped dish, cute!
The bread was amazing but so filling. Unfortunately I had ordered Gnocchi as my main so I worried I would be too full for dessert!
The Gnocchi arrived and it was delicious. The pasta was beautifully spongey and the sauce was creamy with small chopped walnuts throughout, I have never tasted anything so good. Gemelli’s are so generous with their portions and it was so filling that I had to leave some of it.
Kelly ordered the trio of meats and even though I am not a huge meat fan myself, her food looked really good. Again it was a big portion, 3 large pieces of different meats along with some vegetables.
After our main meal we sat and chatted for around half hour. The restaurant has such a relaxed vibe that it was easy to just sit there and let our food go down until we were ready for dessert. The staff were attentive but not pushy and we felt in no way hurried to order dessert.
Dessert time! There is no dessert menu instead you go up to a counter and choose which dessert you would like. I think this is because they constantly change their dessert selection. In this restaurant they also offer ice cream, I think this maybe because they have more families and children coming in and the desserts are very rich. The ice creams looked amazing and they had inventive flavours such as Kinder Bueno! My 3 friends all chose to have a side of ice cream with their dessert but as I was so full I decided not to, I think that is my only regret of the whole evening.
The dessert I chose was a strawberry cheesecake. Cheese cake is my absolute favourite dessert (apart from trifle, and profiteroles ooh and custard slice…the list is endless!) and there were a few to choose form including lemon and chocolate. When it arrived it had been presented beautifully ad had a side of a custardy type sauce which was so yummy.
As it was Kelly’s birthday, one of our group had a little word with the staff. Kelly’s dessert was brought over with a candle in and the staff sung happy birthday to her. They had even given her a chocolate plaque with “Happy Birthday” written on it.
After finishing dessert we were all stuffed. They really are generous portion sizes and I hadn’t eaten so much in a long time. I thought I was going to have to be rolled back to my car. We requested the bill and it arrived in a china tower with smoke billowing out of it. This is another little touch that is different to the original restaurant and it looks really cool, it is definitely the most unique way I have received a bill!
We settled up and left the restaurant, back into the fluorescent lights of Tesco’s. I had honestly forgotten where I was whilst inside, you really feel as if you are in the centre of Italy (not that I have ever been) as opposed to the centre of a food shop.
All in all we had a fabulous meal and I will definitely be going back as there were so many meals on the menu I wanted to try. Also, their website informs they will be starting to serve afternoon tea towards the end of the year and being a huge afternoon tea fan that is something I definitely need to try. The meal I had is not on their menu online, I think they have recently changed it. But you can find more information about the restaurant on their website here.
Hope you enjoyed this food review. If you are ever in the area you need to give this place a try, in fact let me know so I can come with you because I love it!
Disclaimer – Gemelli’s did not know I would be reviewing their restaurant and I paid full price for all of my meal.