“Creative Italian cooking in Newport” - AA Inspector
- Social distancing and safety measures in place
- Follows government and industry guidelines for COVID-19
- Signed up to the AA COVID Confident Charter
Our Inspector's view
Gem 42 is easy to miss but once inside this small and unassuming building, the exuberant Botticelli-style ceilings, crisply dressed tables with Murano glass ornaments soon transport you to the Mediterranean. The kitchen combines classical foundations and contemporary techniques to deliver entertaining medley textures and flavours in a number of tasting menus. The emphasis is on Italian ingredients and style but mixed with top quality local and seasonal produce. It’s matched by an impressive wine selection with flights offered to match the dishes. Look out for starter of duck and ‘ethical’ foie gras parfait, with pomegranate and Marsala jelly, orange chutney and pickled walnut, or there might be Scottish scallop wrapped around an egg yolk with wasabi vinaigrette, Oscietra caviar and black truffle. Then dive in to dry-aged Welsh Wagyu beef sirloin with butternut squash purée, salt baked beetroot, courgettes and an oyster emulsion, in potato purée and Matelote sauce. Smoked chocolate rum cremeux with cardamon gelato, pistachios and pain d'espice sable is one of the delicious desserts.
Facilities – at a glance
Credit cards accepted
- Seats: 32
- On-site parking available
- Closed: Sunday, 25–26 December, Easter, Bank Holidays
- Wines under £30: 40
- Wines over £30: 110
- Wines by the glass: 52
- Cuisine style: Modern Italian, French
- Vegetarian menu
Also in the area
About the area
The area of Newport neighbours Monmouthshire and is home to a cathedral city of the very same name again. Situated 12 miles from Cardiff, on the mouth of the River Usk, the Normans built a castle here. But Newport really grew up in the 19th century when its port became the place from which to export coal around the world – until Cardiff took over in the 1850s. It was also the site of the last large-scale armed insurrection in Britain, the Newport Rising of 1839.
The docks may have declined in importance, but Newport survived, building on manufacturing, engineering and service industries – some government departments are located here too, such as the passport office. The city is also reinventing itself. First off, it was granted city status in 2002, beating off competition from five other Welsh rivals, including Aberystwyth and Wrexham. It also opened the Usk footbridge in 2006, which won a number of awards, and attracted some big-name discount retail outlets. A few years later, it hosted the prestigious 2010 Ryder Cup at the nearby Celtic Manor Resort.
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