A South Shields restaurant boss is celebrating after his family business was named as the area’s favourite Italian eatery.
Da Vinci’s has picked up the accolade following a public vote to be named the Shields Gazette’s Italian Restaurant of the Year.
We asked Gazette readers to choose their favourite restaurant from a competitive shortlist.
Readers were invited to vote for their choice before the winner was announced.
Da Vinci’s, in Ocean Road, South Shields, took the top spot from among the 10 finalists which were announced at the end of last year.
The family-run business has thanked customers for their support following the result.
Owner Payam Shabani, who runs the restaurant with his wife Mona, said: “It’s exciting for us. We’ve worked hard for it.
“We’ve been open 10 years and we’re now an established restaurant in South Shields.”
He added: “We’re a family-run restaurant and all the members of the team are now part of our family.”
The family celebrated their 10 year anniversary as owners of the restaurant last month.
Focusing on warm customer service, Mr Shabani says they aim to be good enough that every customer wants to come back.
He said: “We have a policy which is that we have to bring all our customers back.
“We don’t want people to walk in here only once.
“The people who have supported us are our regular customers.
“I think it’s both good food and the warm and friendly atmosphere which is a real sell for us.”
Using local butchers and grocers, Da Vinci’s
“We have a local supplier, and daily shopping so everything we produce is fresh.
“When people come in it’s very cosy with an Italian decoration.”
Mr Shabani is delighted Da Vinci’s has been named South Shields favourite Italian restaurant.
He added: “I want to say thank you to the people who are voting for us that’s more important for me.
“This is our job, when we get a result like this it is such a big boost for us. We are so happy about it.”