THE PLATE

Given its elevated location, any visit to the Rooftop Restaurant is bound to create at least a frisson of anticipation. Until recently, though, there had been reports of indifferent food and poor service; local rumour suggests that even royalty had walked out. Now, though, a new manager has got a grip on the situation, revising the menu and instilling knowledge and enthusiasm into the staff. The food is modern British with continental influences, and there is great attention to detail, particularly in the finishing touches. The result is that the Rooftop is now somewhere to seek out for a classy lunch or dinner, with the food and service matching the cool surroundings.

THE VIEW

Unsurprisingly, given its location, there are panoramic views from the restuarant. Allow time for a pre-dinner drink, because the best vistas are from the cocktail lounge, an area at the west end of the building with comfy sofas, full-length windows and views straight down the Tyne. There is always something to watch, but it is particularly beautiful as the sun goes down and the lights go on around the city.

THE BILL

The restaurant has an a la carte menu priced according to the number of dishes you choose - £30 for two courses at lunchtime, £35 for three. In the evening the menu is the same but slightly extended, and £5 more expensive. You can also order a pineapple sorbet, liberally dressed with alcohol, between courses for an extra £5. At lunchtime the prix fixe menu is good value at £16.95 for two courses. A bottle of wine ranges from £15.75 for the house red or white to £350 for a bottle of Echezeaux Grand Cru 2001.

The Baltic Rooftop Restaurant is open midday-1.45pm daily, 7-9.45pm Monday-Saturday (Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, South Shore Road, Gateshead; 0191 440 4949; www.balticmill.com)

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