Now back to the serious matter of football in general and Chelsea in particular. It has not been a good season at all and I put it firmly down to “Langan’s Bar & Grill” in Earls court shutting halfway through last season. How we loved our pre-match meals before wandering down to the Bridge. Since then we have struggled to find a regular haunt. “Bodeans” is decent enough but getting a table is a lottery, “Butchers Hook” is too busy, “Sophie’s Steakhouse” too pricey. None has been a consistent choice so our pre-match ritual has floundered much like the team this season. However just recently we have been going to Frantoio on the Kings Road. Now location wise it isn’t ideal as it is nowhere near the tube and stupidly the Boris bikes don’t cover that area. From the outside it doesn’t look much and in fact inside is a bit of a mish mash of styles. However the welcome is warm and pre-match it is busy with a nice mix of footie fans and regulars.
Beardy Marc knows the owner well so we do tend to get looked after. The menu is standard Italian trattoria but without the pizza. Last time I had some very nice deep fried seafood in a very light batter followed by a seriously tasty and wafer thin escalope of veal. It was really very nice indeed, good portions of nice tasty food. You can’t really ask for more. Desserts were a bit hit and miss, the tiramisu needed a bit more booze but all the guys really enjoyed their food. It has been very busy during our last two visits but the staff have got all the food out in plenty of time and of course you can have a nice drink whilst you wait.
What really helps the place is the nice staff particularly the owner who wanders around his very busy joint entertaining the customers. A real character and a nice change to the sterile and soulless vibe of most London chain eateries. You don’t get the manager of Carluccio’s parading around in a customer’s fur coat! Food always seems to come to about £25-£0 a head which is good value for a hearty feed and a few drinks. So all in all the chaps were impressed and this is worth a walk out of the way. This sort of place shows that an expensive modern look and cutting edge faddy food can only get you so far you need a generate a good atmosphere. Frantoio delivers that in bags, nice to have a fun place to go to pre-match again!
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Food 7 | Service 9 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 8