Having spent last years Valentine’s night in a fairly posh restaurant, feeling a little penned in with all the other couples, eating the same food, I wanted to do something different this year.
I opted for Lane 7 in Newcastle, a reasonably new ten pin bowling eatery, which had come recommended by a friend at work.
The main bar, and in fact the whole place, has a classic but contemporary industrial estate meets Americana vibe. The plaid-clad staff are numerous, helpful and suitably bearded to fit the scenario.
The drink selection is massive, and there is more than enough to keep you occupied if you opt to get there early to soak up the atmosphere. I’m pleased we did and enjoyed some Blue Moon lager which came with a slice of Orange (a strange but successful combo) and later on a Brooklyn lager, both of which are on tap. There is also a cracking selection of cocktails and mocktails and even alcoholic milkshakes. I gave the Yankee Doodle a whirl with my meal. Not something you could drink too many of, but very nice.
The food came quickly after ordering and was delicious. We opted for the Chicken Liver Pate, with spiced tomato and pear chutney. My better half and I generally share a pate when we go out and this was one of the best we’d had.
I opted for the Chilli Pimp Dog for my main course, although I’m normally tempted by the cheeseburger, the short rib chilli which accompanied appealed to my inner yank. I wasn’t disappointed. The dog, bread and chilli were spot on, the chilli could have be a little hotter though. It was laced with jalepenos and mayo, but lacked a kick I was looking for.
The ribs were massive and came with a little paint brush to help you apply your BBQ sauce. The g/f was suitably mute while she ploughed into her dish, and although she thought it wasn’t the best place to come if you were on a first date, I’m certain that you don’t necessarily need to shed all dignity when faced with a rack of ribs.
The post meal bowling was great, and I don’t mind admitting (I do mind) that I was beaten by my better half, by about 15 points. The maple topped lanes are 4 a breadth so it has an intimate feel which is lost in bigger bowling alleys. We would have stayed a little longer for some pool but the next available table was a 45 minute wait away which was a shame.
Overall, Lane 7 talks a big game, but has the balls to back it up. It looks the business, from the interior and staff to the serveware and games, and doesn’t disappoint. It’s very busy, so some forethought needs to be put into what you want to do when you get there as having a spontaneous game of pool may not always be possible. It’s a class restaurant, with a bowling alley in it: Check it out!