“GIVE me another piece of that pecan pie.” 

So sang The Eagles on Long Road Out of Eden. Amen, brothers. After my trip to Bill’s, I’d happily sing along.

Their warm pecan pie with malted banana ice cream (£5.50) was a delicious combination of hot and cold, crunchy and smooth; and the perfect way to round off a great evening.

But the pudding, which my wife and I both enjoyed – spurning numerous tempting alternatives including the intriguing blueberry upside down cheesecake, was far from the only highlight of the evening.

Our starters were superb. My crispy crumbed halloumi with chilli mayo (£4.50) was outstanding: the breadcrumbs wonderfully encapsulating the squeaky cheese within and providing a veritable party for the palate.

Sarah’s hummus and tzatziki with grilled wholemeal pitta and crudités (£4.25), which she kindly let me try, was almost as good.

As I remarked on the evening: I often forget just how much I like hummus. And this was the chickpea mash at its best.

Our main courses, similarly, are a pleasure to write about.

My pan-fried hake (£11.95) was firm and flavourful; the chunky tomato, avocado and caper salsa with crispy spring onion and parsley potato rosti providing the perfect off-setting.

It was very well presented and very much appreciated.

Sarah went for the charmingly ‘down home’ option of mac ‘n’ cheese with butternut squash (£8.95) which, much to her delight, combined two of her favourite winter meals superbly.

And the wine menu was more than adequate, with four whites, four reds and one rose available by the 175ml glass.

Sarah greatly enjoyed the dark and chocolatey Argentinian Tilia Malbec (£6) and I was in my element with the Kung Fu Girl Riesling (£5.50), which aerated wonderfully.

It being a rare night out for us, with the young 'un safe in the care of the grandparents, we even treated ourselves to a digestif – Sarah a hot chocolate with Baileys, which the staff kindly made up despite it not being on the menu; and I a glass of Vaporetto Prosecco (£4.95) – helpfully described on the menu as “great anytime”.

Bill’s is Durham’s new kid on the block – having only opened its doors in mid-December.

Nevertheless, when we visited on a Monday night half-way through “dry January”, with new year diets still clinging on, Christmas debts mounting and the first pay day of 2015 still a couple of weeks away, it was impressively busy.

Young couples stared across tables into each other’s eyes; groups of girl friends laughed and gossiped over a shared bottle or two.

The decor is deliberately rustic, even industrial. There are wooden tables, vintage chic napkins and exposed metal pipes in the ceiling.

Charmingly, recipes are written in oversized letters on the odd wall – making for intriguing reading on the way to the toilets downstairs.

Bill’s is brilliantly located on the Peninsula – equally accessible for students and us permanent residents alike.

It has a small frontage onto Saddler Street, but opens out as one goes further back towards the Wear; broadening further still down a steep half-staircase to the bar and again to a rear dining area.

The music was forgettable, so must have been played at an acceptable volume.

Beyond our choices, the menu is wonderfully diverse – covering Mediterranean, modern British, Indian and more. It is so wide-ranging, in fact, that I could only describe it as good food from across the globe.

Dishes are reasonably priced, the mains ranging from £8.95 to £18.50 for a 10oz sirloin steak, although those counting their pennies should take note of the small print at the bottom of the menu saying a “discretionary optional gratuity” of ten per cent is automatically added to the bill; which I found somewhat irking, though not so much to protest.

The staff deserved their tip. The service was friendly and efficient, without being attentive to the point of being bothersome; although I did feel horribly old when I caught sight of the chap who seemed to be in charge and wondered whether he was old enough to be up so late on a school night.

Number 39 Saddler Street has been a bit of a graveyard for restaurants over the last few years.

When Hide Bar and Grill disappeared, its intriguing but bizarre successor Mrs Mustard, which promised to offer a mustard for every meal, lasted just a few months.

The next venture, the pan-Asian eatery Lotus Lounge, was hugely disappointing and lasted little longer.

I sincerely hope the latest attempt is much more successful. Judging from our first visit, it has a very good chance of being so.

Bill’s, 39 Saddler Street, Durham, DH1 3NU 0191-386-7672

durham@bills-email.co.uk bills-website.co.uk/restaurants/durham

Open Monday to Saturday 8am to 11pm, Sundays 9am to 10.30pm

Ratings (out of 10): Food quality 9, Service 7, Surroundings 8, Value 8