Why South Shields eatery Da Vinci's has been named Mediterranean Restaurant of the Year

A popular South Shields eatery is having a smashing time after being named the Gazette’s Mediterranean Restaurant of the Year.

Da Vinci’s Italian on Ocean Road has scooped the sought after accolade - officially declaring it one of the best in the borough - after proving a hit with local diners.

While renowned for its authentic Italian cuisine, Da Vinci’s has become the place to go for special occasions and celebrations with its function room providing the full Mediterranean experience.

The restaurant, which opened in 2008, is one of only a couple in the North East to host authentic Greek nights for customers.

Payam Shabani from Da Vinci's, with the Mediterranean restaurant of the Year award.

The events give South Shields residents the chance to enjoy the complete Grecian experience, from the olives and pita bread on the tables to the plate smashing and dancing in the street after dinner.

It’s the first time the business has been named Mediterranean Restaurant of the Year after seeing success two years in a row in the Italian category in 2018 and 2019.

Restaurant owner Payam Shabani, said it means everything to know that their customers have voted for them.

“Getting this award from the people is amazing, it means so much to all of us,” he said.

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Payam Shabani (second right) from Da Vinci's along with Majid Mafi hold the Mediterranean restaurant of the Year award for 2019 along with staff (left to right) Karo Ali, Anastasija Solovjova.

Payam, who hails from Italy but has brought dishes from all over Europe to South Shields, puts their success down to the authentic experience they provide.

“We provide the food, music, atmosphere and entertainment, a truly authentic experience for our customers. We deliver everything exactly as it is in the Mediterranean.”

He continued: “Everybody wants to come for their special occasions. We make people happy and they have a good time.That’s the main reason people voted for us.”

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As well as its lively functions, Da Vinci’s has been serving up an impressive menu of more than 75 dishes for more than a decade, with diners describing it as “the best food ever eaten” with a “great traditional vibe”.

Payam Shabani from Da Vinci, with the Mediterranean restaurant of the Year award for 2019 along with staff (left to right) Karo Ali, Anastasija Solovjova and Mayid Mafi.

Payam added: “I’m so proud. I just want to say a big thank you to all of our customers. They have kept us standing in this economy and we couldn’t have done it without them.”

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Payam Shabani from Da Vinci's with the Mediterranean restaurant of the Year award for 2019.