Carlisle's newest restaurant Sage & Vine opened with great success in the city centre on Thursday evening. 

The new foodie spot selling Mediterranean tapas, mezze and wood-fired pizza, replaced The Muddled Olive at 5 The Crescent and officially opened its doors to customers on February 1st. 

After sampling one of their superb wood-fired pizzas on a visit last week, I was desperate to try out the full thing on opening night. 

Upon arrival at 7pm, my partner and I were offered a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, which was quickly swapped out for a delicious fruit mocktail consisting of orange, raspberry and grapefruit, with the friendly waitress very understanding when I explained our desire to remain tee-total.

News and Star: The lovely mocktailThe lovely mocktail (Image: Jimmy Moorhouse)

After much deliberation, we settled on calamari and wild mushroom crostini as two small plates to start. 

Mercifully, for a man with a malignance towards mayonnaise, the tartar sauce came on the side with the calamari, which was cooked to the perfect point of crispiness and chewiness. 

The wild mushroom crostini, which came with a slice of garlic brushed crusty bread, rocket balsamic glaze and a squeeze of fresh lemon, also went down a treat and allayed my fears of an overbearing glaze. 

News and Star: Our starters - calamari and wild mushroom crostiniOur starters - calamari and wild mushroom crostini (Image: Jimmy Moorhouse)

It would have been wrong to go with anything other than pizza next, to properly pay tribute to the restaurant's main attraction, the wood-fired oven. 

My order of the Toscana pizza, featuring fior de latte, Tuscan sausage, mascarpone and oregano was perhaps a little too attached to the wood-fired oven, as the crust was bordering on burnt on one side, but it was still tasty and a far cry from other pizza options in the area.

My partner's order, which featured mozzarella, spinach, olive tapenade, red onion and semi-dried cherry tomatoes, had a far fluffier crust and was a delightful mix of flavours. 

News and Star: The main eventThe main event (Image: Jimmy Moorhouse)

Sadly too full to even cast a glance at the dessert menu, I enjoyed the cosy atmosphere, romantic lighting and excellent music choices offered up before heading home happy, with a belly full of good food.

Sage & Vine is an excellent new addition in Carlisle.