North East Eats: Fiume – Washington

Fiume is a bit of a Washington institution.  Growing up in good old Washy, Fiume was pretty much the only restaurant in the whole town, so obviously the whole of Washington has eaten there time and time again. Over the years, Washington got itself a whole host of new eateries, popping up all over the place, but good old Fiume has stood the test of time.  I have to admit, I haven’t set foot in the place in a good ten years, in fact I think one of my first dates with Kris was in Fiume when we were but children, so I couldn’t wait to go back and bask in the nostalgia.

The restaurant has changed a bit since last I visited, a facelift for the old girl. Gone are the worn down carpets and battered bar for a new, sleeker finish.  We visited on a Tuesday afternoon, bang on 12pm, I’ve just finished up with a tattoo removal appointment so I was famished and ready to eat.  We were instantly escorted to our table by the friendliest waiter ever, Miguel, if you happen to get served by him you’re in for a delightful evening.  Drinks order taken we perused the Festive menu.

To start I spotted a blue cheese and mushroom bruschetta, there was no way I was letting that baby pass me by! It was bloody delicious, what’s not to love, blue cheese and mushrooms on a hunk of toast. Hells to the yes!  Kris opted for the old classic, ham hock terrine.  I’m not a huge terrine person so I just let him dig into that one but he assured me it was lovely.

I settled on a good old turkey dinner with all the trimmings, you can’t go wrong.  The dinner came with pigs in blankets, mountains of pork stuffing, the fluffiest roast potatoes I’ve ever tasted, chestnuts (I love chestnuts so this was a welcome surprise) and oddly, a dish of roasted Mediterranean vegetables. This was a very strange addition to a Christmas lunch and I’d have much rather been presented with good old broccoli and carrots, and I don’t even like carrots that much.  The best thing about this meal, it came with an extra helping of gravy, no need to ask. That’s a winner in my books, I like my roast swimming in gravy.

Kris opted for a fillet of cod in a tomato, chorizo and cannelini bean sauce, and those roasted Mediterranean vegetables again, although I think they went with Kris’ dish way more than mine.  the sauce was a wee bit bland, I think it needed a little dash of paprika or something to give it some real depth but it was still very pleasant.

At this point I was stuffed to the point of bursting but since we’d ordered dessert at the beginning of the meal it would be rude not to have a go.  Mine was a lime panacotta with blueberry compote and a pistachio crumble while Kris went for chocolate tart with salted caramel ice cream.

My panacotta was delicious, so so zesty and the blueberry compote was so delicious I could have ate that on its own. Sadly I was told the chef couldn’t get his hands on any pistachio crumble (?!), isn’t that just smashed up pistachios? Oh well!

Kris chocolate tart was delicious, it was exactly what it said on the tin. Dark and rich with creamy caramel ice cream. Yum!

I sat back and rubbed my tummy, fit to burst, when Miguel tottered back over and asked if we’d like to see their new gin bar, Acqua. I accepted, of course, always keen to see what my home town has in store.

Hidden away at the back of the restaurant, it’s a bit of a secret destination. If you don’t know, you don’t know kinda deal. The bar offers a range of gin based cocktails, mixology masterclasses and can host private events.  I can really see this becoming a buzzing part of the Washington bar scene. I for one can’t wait to check out Acqua in full swing next time I find myself tottering about my home town.

*I was invited to Fiume for a complimentary meal in exchange for an honest review. 


  1. Val and Allan
    December 19, 2017 / 9:29 am

    I totally agree with your great report on the Fiume. My partner and I have been going there regularly for the last 13 years and have enjoyed watching it progress to the excellent eatery it is today. The decor and menu may have changed over the years but the staff have always been the best especially as you mention Miguel He always has a lovely smile and enjoys talking to Allan in his own language. One more point I would like to add is the lift My partner and I are getting on in years and appreciate the fact we can get up and down from the restaurant very easily. Well done Fiume .

  2. Olivia McHale
    January 6, 2018 / 5:21 pm

    Oh gosh, this post gave me such a rumbly tummy! Those desserts look BEAUTIFUL. I have to admit, I've not heard of this restaurant before, but it's definitely somewhere that I'd love to try out!Olivia – The Northernist x

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