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Review: IGF, Bromley
Living in Las Vegas at a time when the Rat Pack were making beautiful music and getting up to no good would blatantly have been bloody exciting.
And I imagine running with The Sopranos in New Jersey would have been a thrilling, glamorous, nail-biter of a ride.
Sometimes I think it’s a shame I wasn’t part of those electrifying times or cast as Tony’s wife Carmella, but at least being slightly more boring lessens the chances of getting shot.
Strolling into International Goodfellas (IGF) is the closest I’ll ever come to hanging out with stunning Hollywood stars in this life.
Full-sized Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart welcome you into this classy joint.
They’re probably gasping for a martini because they can’t get to the bar no matter how hard they try.
I noticed a dormant wind machine sneakily hiding beneath Miss Monroe’s iconic dress threatening to blow her skirts up at any moment.
They’ve really gone to town on the theme here and it’s easy to get swept up in the story - I was almost tempted to start speaking like Don Corleone and making people offers they couldn’t refuse.
Larger than life models of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and Peter Lawford sit cross-legged above the bar, smiling at the punters below.
And the Leader of the Pack Mr Frank Sinatra himself stands watch over his territory from the balcony – after all it is his world, we’re just living in it.
Each table is covered by a different black and white headshot of a dreamy Hollywood star from Al Pacino in his heyday to a more innocent Judy Garland.
We perused the delicious sounding Italian menu and found, beer-wise, IGF only offers Becks, Bud (£3.50) and Peroni in bottles.
It would be far too uncivilised to drink pints amongst these glitzy names.
And if anyone decided this wasn’t good enough and started a fight, there is an entire rack of machine guns hanging on the wall to put them in their place.
I imagine a full-on shoot out here would make great movie material as the mirrored walls and columns would shatter spectacularly under fire of spraying bullets.
They could also draw the heavy black curtains while the clean-up crew got busy.
The whole bar is covered with a Godfather II film reel and two absolutely gargantuan fedoras hang from the ceiling, maybe as a literal interpretation of how big-headed the Pack became.
It was Monday night and rather quiet but the manager – a charming Italian who acts like he just stepped out of The Sopranos – told us it gets much busier later in the week.
We ordered pizza, a chicken and chorizo dish and some garlic bread which came to £12.45 and the standard was very pleasantly surprising.
The food tastes much better than some quite famous ‘Italian’ chains which charge much more for much less.
If you’re in the mood for a sparkling, cocktail-filled evening of Hollywood magic this is the place to come to – especially during one of their live music nights.
IGF only came to town three months ago but I give it five stars – now That’s Amore.
How IGF rates:
DECOR: ***** (Hollywood heroes, Rat Pack rogues and gangster glam)
DRINK: *** (no beer on tap but cocktails-a-plenty)
PRICE: *** (cheaper and tastier than other Italian restaurants)
ATMOSPHERE: **** (unique and fun)
STAFF: **** (friendly and very professional)
Address: IGF, Churchill Court, Westmoreland Place, Bromley, BR1 1DS