Take an Italian Anglophile with a penchant for American food and set him up in a Premier League football ground and you get Frankie’s Sports Bar & Diner, an American style sports bar collaboration between Marco Pierre White and Frankie Dettori.
After various collaborations with Mr Pierre White – dubbed the godfather of modern cooking – Signor Dettori has re-vamped the Chelsea FC diner moving it away from being an Italian into an all-out American diner; so less chequered table clothes and more French’s mustard.
Hints of the restaurant’s Italian roots are still evident on the menu with spag bol, anti-pasta, stone-baked pizza and an entire evening dedicated to hefty Prosecco consumption once a week, but the corn chowder, hot wings, cobb salad and pecan pie gives a strong indication of where the restaurant is heading, and given the setting and the clientele, the re-modelling is exactly what it needed.
With 12 big screens and just about every game being broadcast on television featuring on the plethora of screens the restaurant it is a perfect place to kick back with a beer and a burger and watch the match. The diner’s layout is clean and simple and avoids the trap of that most sports bars fall into of selling pitchers of beer and cheap burgers while they let local ruffians run the joint into the ground. This is a great place for an evening with friends, but is equally suited to couples and family groups.
We were here to sample a bit of ‘outside the bun’ thinking at a promotional Burger Week event that featured…. Well, best to see for yourself:
We sampled the Triple Whammy, a cleverly crafted burger in that the ingredients complement each other rather than simply being a mishmash of junk food. The house relish worked well with the thick bacon slices and the pulled pork/ beef patty combination was divine, served in a brioche bun rather than a bog standard burger bun.
Frankie’s excels as a restaurant by not slipping into the many pitfalls of the sports bar/ diner arena. The food is cleverly crafted and while you will find all the classics on the menu, the chefs clearly have enough penache to serve them up well rather than simply relying on a deep fat fryer. This invites a friendly clientele and creates a sport venue without the sports crowd. Ironic, perhaps, given its location, but really quite refreshing.