The Landing launches the upmarket Signora in time for summer

FINESSE: Signora's linguini with Cloudy Bay clams, tomato, chilli and garlic. The Italian restaurant has just opened at The Landing Bar & Kitchen. Picture: Dominique Cherry

FINESSE: Signora's linguini with Cloudy Bay clams, tomato, chilli and garlic. The Italian restaurant has just opened at The Landing Bar & Kitchen. Picture: Dominique Cherry

Signora at The Landing Bar & Kitchen is now open and serving contemporary Italian cuisine. The dining area is stunning and head chef Paul Thornton was thinking outside the square when he designed the menu.

Entrees include the Sloppy Guiseppe Panino with bolognese, pickled chillies, rocket and mozzarella; and the charred asparagus with whipped ricotta and walnuts. As for mains, think roast pumpkin ravioli with goat’s cheese and sage butter or linguini with Cloudy Bay clams, tomato, chilli and garlic. There’s pizza and dessert, too.  

Murder mystery

Bonta Vera at Minmi are getting into the Halloween spirit with a “murder mystery” party on October 31, 6pm to 9pm. Tickets cost $30 which includes games, food and your chance to win prizes.

Prawn auction

Make a bid on the season’s first box of Hunter River prawns and you will be helping a worthy cause. The Commercial Fishermen's Co-operative Ltd at Wickham is hosting the inaugural prawn auction on November 1 and donating proceeds to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

The event starts at 7am with bidding on the trawler-fresh box of prawns expected to take place from 8am. There will be a live video-conferencing link to the Sydney Fish Market, too.

“This is our way of giving back to a local community whose love of fresh seafood has supported local fishing families for generations. Hunter River prawns are arguably the most highly prized of the fresh seafood that the co-op is famous for – even more so than the local lobster,” co-op general manager Rob Gauta said.

About half the size of a tiger prawn, the Hunter River variety are renowned for their concentrated flavour and can be enjoyed with a squeeze of lemon and some crusty bread.

Baking queen

Cake Craze owner Michelle Smith has just returned from another baking adventure in the US. She flew a four-tier competition cake and box full of sugar flowers to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show (OSSAS) and took home bronze for her cake. She taught cake classes in California, New Jersey and The Americas Cake Fair in Orlando, Florida, and will return to Miami in April for the SoFlo Cake & Candy Expo where she will be be teaching, demonstrating and judging.

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith

Also, a Halloween Cupcake class is being held at Cake Craze’s Warners Bay headquarters on Monday, October 30, 5.30pm to 7.30pm. 

Big brunch

Residents of Carrington, Islington, Maryville, Tighes Hill and Wickham: get to know your neighbour at the Throsby Big Brunch this Sunday, October 29, under the fig trees at Islington Park. It’s a casual community gathering where residents share a plate and a story or two. The event, which kicks off at 10am, is hosted by the Throsby Villages Alliance. To reserve your seat at the long table register at throsbybigbrunch.org.

Super banquet

Bocados Spanish Kitchen is taking advantage of its Watt Street position and offering a “V8 Supercar Banquet” over that weekend. Tickets for a window seat in the upstairs banquet room cost $170, all other seats are $130 per person. Don’t take too long to think about it or you might miss out. 

Noodle bar

Susuro, Newcastle’s first ramen and gyoza bar, is set to open next Tuesday, October 31, at 140 King Street. Lovers of Japanese noodles and wontons have Taiyo Namba, owner of Nagisa, to thank for the newest addition to the city’s culinary map. Head chef Chris Schofield has mastered a fine art.

Family takeaway

Did you know Winnies Jamaican now offers a family takeaway pack? It comes with a large whole jerk chicken, sweet potato fries, jerk corn, soft bread rolls and slaw. An added bonus is a bottle of Yardies hot sauce. 

Burgers to go

Speaking of takeaway, Mister P’s Burger Bar at Charlestown is now open on Sunday nights for takeaway and Uber Eats orders only.

Change of date

Newcastle Food & Wine Weekend has been pushed back to March next year and a new venue is being sought. Organiser Jessica Eckford-Aguilera said support for the event had been “overwhelming” and “everyone is still on board despite the change of date”. 

Chips please

The chunky haloumi chips at the Greek Taverna Newcastle look seriously yummy. Make a booking on a Friday or Saturday night. 

Beach feast

The next travelling Street Feast event is on this Saturday, October 28, at Dixon Park Beach. Be there from 4pm and 8pm to sample all kinds of food truck fare. Don’t forget your picnic rug.  

French flair

Nic Poelaert’s eclairs really are a work of art. They look almost too good to eat. Almost. Employers, if you want to impress your colleagues on Melbourne Cup day, pre-order Choux Patisserie eclairs now on 0478 198 689.

Summer lovin’

Bistro Lowlands is known for its burgers but has added a healthy, on-trend option to its summer menu – poke bowls. Take away or eat in, the choice is yours. Vegan options are also available. 

United for life 

Natalia from United Speed Cafe at Georgetown and Jane from Let’s Do Life are organising a fund-raiser for The Black Dog Institute and Lifeline on November 18. It begins with a bootcamp session followed by yoga and a talk about depression and suicide prevention. 

WIN: launch party tickets

This summer The Landing Bar & Kitchen is expanding its craft beer selection and launching a timely collaboration with Newtown-based brewer Young Henry’s. Also, Hunter Valley native Ollie Margan has re-worked the cocktail and bar list to champion fresh, local and seasonal offerings. To celebrate, The Landing is hosting a Summer Party on November 3 at 1 Honeysuckle Drive. Kicking off at 7pm, there will be live music, bar snacks and Newcastle artist Marcus Dixon will create a permanent mural inside the venue. Food & Wine has a double pass to give away to the Young Henry’s launch at The Landing Bar & Kitchen, valued at $100. To enter, send the words “The Landing” with your name, address and number to freelunch@theherald.com.au. Entries close on Monday, October 30, at 9am.