Da Vinci’s Italian restaurant on Ocean Road has had to close its doors to the public until further notice under new government guidelines brought in to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The award-winning eatery was among all pubs, bars and restaurants forced to close suddenly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the first of the ‘lockdown measures’ on Friday, March 20.
In a heart-warming gesture, the chefs chose to put their leftover ingredients to good use - cooking their bestselling pasta dish for NHS workers at South Tyneside District Hopsital.
On Saturday, March 28 Da Vinci’s staff spent five hours cooking 200 Pasta Romana portions from scratch, before delivering them to doctors, nurses and other NHS heroes on the frontline at the hospital.
Now restaurant owner Payam Shabani has urged other local businesses to help out.
“I want to get the message out to others, to encourage them to do something for the people who are looking after the whole town - those working hard in the hospital without any breaks or the chance to go and buy groceries,” he said.
“It’s not about the money or the business - now is the time to look after each other and it’s a time to be positive.”
NHS staff thanked the restaurant, commenting that the food was “much appreciated” and kept “spirits high” during uncertain times.