The New Arrivals (June 2004)
This is an archived article from 2004.
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Natural selection is always at work in the restaurant game with venues opening and closing on a regular basis. Some places, though, seem to see a little more action than is healthy and if you are a frequent Poulton diner you could be forgiven for raising an eyebrow at the fun and games at the former Lawdy's (now Bedd) on Hardhorn Road. In a relatively short space of time, the upper floor has been home to Mammas, Serdrianos, La Piazza, and most recently Camasitos and the Indian Buffet. With the latter two no longer trading, the merry-go-round looks set to continue. Let's hope that some of the other new arrivals on the Fylde dining scene have a longer shelf life.
Italians generally do well locally and Caffé Luigi (pictured above) at Wrea Green's Ribby Hall Village looks set for success. It's housed in the main site building and is split into two areas - a bistro overlooking the pool area where you can choose from pizza, pasta, burgers and other light bites and the more upmarket ristorante pizzeria with a more substantial menu and an all-Italian wine list. Caffé Luigi is part of the Hilton Leisure group with sister restaurants across Lancashire including Papa Luigis in Wigan and Euston, Francos in Longridge, Verdes in Lancaster and Tiggis and Gibees bar in Blackburn. Ribby Hall itself also has a French restaurant -- La Maison Rouge.
Lorenzos in Freckleton used to be the home of Caravela, the area's only Portuguese restaurant. Now it's in the hands of the Lorenzinis, who ran an Italian restaurant (Arcobaleno) in Lytham. Wife Sue is chef and trained in Italy with celebrity chef Roberto Crescini. Dishes like Pollo Fantastico (Chicken supreme stuffed with mushrooms encased in pancetta, champagne sauce, £11.90) you won't find elsewhere and many of the mains here are a little more upmarket and sophisticated than you might expect from your typical neighbourhood Italian.
On the outskirts of Blackpool, heading towards the motorway off School Lane, is a new carvery restaurant, Buffalo Bills. Housed in what was a garden centre, the restaurant has an American theme with flags outside and a contemporary feel to the dining area. The menu offers steaks, salads, soups, chicken, ribs - even a half-yard kebab - but the big draw is the carvery with five different meats available. Buffalo Bills is open 7 days a week from 8am until 12 midnight.
Who would have thought that a Japanese restaurant would flourish locally but two of them opened within a week of each other last November. Both offer the theatrical and social teppanyaki style where diners congregate around the grill station watching expert chefs prepare the food to order. Yamato is in St Annes and Tapan Yaki in Poulton and both make for a very different night out to the norm. If you're feeling extra adventurous, sample some sashimi or sushi off the a la carte menus and wash it all down with hot or cold sake.
Poulton also has a new Chinese restaurant, China Red. It's a modern and sumptuous venue, far from your typical neighbourhood affair and more akin to something you might find in Manchester. It can seat 120 and the décor features wooden floors, spotlighting, even a koi carp pool. It's always busy but if you can, try and snag one of the luxurious booths with their mustard leather seats. Their Plum Beef (£8.50) is a speciality. In a similar vein, Michaels is a modern new Indian that's opened up in Thornton on Fleetwood Road North. With its low ceiling, subtle spotlighting, cream interior, leather chairs, and linen tablecloths and napkins, you can dine here in some style. Interestingly, there's a pizza menu and a kids menu which make Michaels a good choice for parties that aren't all necessarily partial to spicy food.
Another modern new venue is Sugar Sugar in Cleveleys. Right opposite Pulcinella, it's a new venture by comedian and singer Joey Blower. Spread over two floors, with floor-to-ceiling windows, there's a bar downstairs and modern British restaurant above. It promises to be a real fillip for the Cleveleys dining scene, adding the kind of hip, cosmopolitan venue that even Blackpool struggles to provide. Blackpool does have a welcome new addition on Topping Street in the form of AJs Bistro (view a 360 movie). Serving modern British cuisine with a Med twist, it's candlelit and a cut above some of the local competition. AJs makes a point of catering to customers with special dietary requirements, and if you do come under this category it's one of the only local restaurants where you can be assured of special treatment by chefs that are used to dealing with these kind of requests.
Hot off the press, a new American diner-style restaurant is opening in St Annes. It's a sister restaurant to Antonios At The Island and housed in the same seafront building. Hollywood & Dine is movie-themed, with film stills on the walls, and will offer ribs, chicken and upmarket burgers.
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