Frankie and Benny, the New York Italian Restaurant, is perhaps not the first place you think of for a special meal – but think again this vintage style restaurant has a great deal to offer with its excellent food, drink, efficient service and its general ambience.

The atmosphere  is warm and friendly here.  Retro style seating  gives it an intimate feel along with the vintage photos that front the menu’s and decorate the restaurant walls.

Soaking up this atmosphere we decided to order a cocktail – the bar tender’s picture on the front of the drinks menu made up our mind for us.  What a joy it was to see our cocktails been made and shaken behind the bar whilst we enjoyed a tasty little Mediterranean treat of marinated olives. The portion was generous and the olives were high quality and came with their own cocktail sticks so no messy fingers.

When our cocktails arrived my colleague’s pina colada really did taste of pineapple and was very smooth whilst my Pornstar Martini had just the right balance of vodka and juices although the passion fruit float was missing!

The starter menu is a large one and includes some sharing starters. Calamari was my colleague’s choice. It was a very generous portion and was well cooked. It came with a dipping sauce of garlic mayo and lemon. The Calamari was succulent, tasty and very palatable.

My portion of Garlic Prawns was generous too they arrived piping hot and butterflied for easy eating and were served with a lemon and ciabatta bread to soak up all the flavour of the juice.

The vegetarian Margherita Pizza was my colleague’s choice for main. A nice and simple dish but she was disappointed that it was rather bland and could have benefited from a sprinkling of oregano and herbs.

I did better with one of the new dishes Pork Chop Milanese. This was a seasoned boneless pork chop in an Italian herb crumb. It was  tender and succulent and accompanied by a rocket tomato and pesto salad, the ideal partner for this dish and some lovely hot crispy fries.

We couldn’t resist adding a touch of New York to our meal when dessert time came.  The dessert menu is just so amazing with choices that are varied and mind-blowing. My colleague adores cheesecake so opted for the New York Cheesecake. Again a generous portion of this vanilla cheesecake but it was the F and B’s extras on this dessert that turned it into a masterpiece. Served with vanilla ice cream it came with a salted caramel sauce that was smooth and salted and completed by  pieces of chocolate.

My heaven on a plate had to be one of their famous ice cream concoctions. The New York Sundae made my day. I nearly needed a seat-booster to reach the top of it. The glass was packed with creamy cheesecake and strawberry ice cream, fresh strawberries, strawberry syrup, whipped cream that nearly reached the ceiling and shortbread.

Frankie and  Benny’s has a different ambience at different times of the day. It’s the kind of place that’s great for breakfast with hot waffles, brunch, morning coffee or afternoon tea with a sticky cake, or lunch with a burger, hot dog, salad, pizza or quick snack – but in the evening it’s a great place for a really special meal.

Frankie and Benny’s is open: Mon,Tues,Wed,Thurs 8.00am-10.30pm; Fri & Sat 8.00am-11.00pm; Sun 8.00am-10pm

Frankie and Benny’s The Light, Leeds LS1 8TL Tel: 0113 246 9752



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