A grand old lady standing proud in Liverpool’s Lark Lane, Maranto’s US barbecue joint has been in operation for over 30 years. Its Grade II-listed premises are much older, however, having been variously a skating academy, cocoa rooms and a mission chapel. The restaurant has been owned by the same Italian-American family for decades, with the benign Steve Maranto a regular presence.
The interior is stuffed with salvaged cast-iron objects and vintage Tiffany lamps. Food is hearty - the Maranto family claim to be the first to bring Amercan-style BBQ no less - and service is friendly, fun and efficient.
On the menu you will find robust homemade burgers and barbecue ribs using the family’s secret recipe. Long-established dishes include wonderfully succulent sauté king prawns, with garlic chilli and ginger and a swirl of anise liquor. The signature chicken à la Maranto is a gloriously simple roast chicken breast, stuffed with buffalo mozzarella and sun-blushed tomatoes in a rich cream pesto sauce. And an Italian burger, topped with Bolognese and mozzarella, is oddly moreish plus there are a healthy quantity of sides too - from garlic bread and salad to coleslaw, onion rings and chips. Come Sunday you’ll find a traditional roast with all the trimmings on the menu, which can be upgraded to a three course set, which includes a soup starter and a pudding of the day.
Maranto’s also cater for dietary requirements. For those who have a gluten intolerance or are allergic, there is a full gluten-free menu, which features plenty of pasta ensuring nobody feels left out, and there’s also a vegan list too.
Desserts come American-sized and simple: think hot chocolate fudge cake and lots of ice cream - perfect for treating the kids to if they’ve managed to polish off all of their dinner.