New York and specifically the city’s Little Italy is the inspiration behind Frankie & Benny’s, the sort of place you might imagine Robert de Niro working in, albeit in the sort of cosy role he now takes in later life rather than something edgy from the start of his career.
Pizza and pasta form the core of the menu. The former are prepared New York-style with a thin crust and classic toppings such as pepperoni, margherita and Italian hot, or folded over as a calzone filled with a meatball feast or a vegan version with soy pieces among the peppers, mushrooms and tomato sauce.
On the pasta front, choose between spaghetti or rigatoni and opt for the likes of pepper and tomato arrabbiata sauce, bacon and cream carbonara or, of course, the all-time classic of bolognese.
There’s more to the place than pizza and pasta, though. You can also expect American standards of the smoky rib or chicken ilk served with fries, coleslaw and corn on the cob, steaks with garlic or peppercorn sauce or sandwiches deep filled with salt beef, breadcrumbed chicken or battered aubergine (or eggplant, to keep it real).
This being a family-friendly sort of place, there are burgers galore, from classic plain or cheese to blue cheese, vegan and chicken versions, all served with fries and with plenty of extra toppings or tweaks available (eg no bun or sweet potato fries).
It’s not all so indulgent though. There are some healthy salads such as the veg-packed Mediterranean, or a salmon fillet with jacket potato and sour cream, which might leave room for either a starter or pudding.
Kick off your meal with calamari with garlic mayo and lemon, sticky chicken wings with barbecue sauce, mushrooms baked with cheese or potato skins loaded with cheese and chives. Should you still have space, there is chocolate fudge cake, brownies and ice cream, lemon tart or Toblerone cheesecake to finish.
Kids get their own menu and, like the grown-ups’ menu, there’s a gluten-free menu for little ones, too.