Burnley couple behind Mangia Pasta takeaway open Italian bistro at The Kestrel Suite
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Mangia Pasta started life as a takeaway last March. Now owners Frankie Musso and Bradley Hensby-Musso have taken their dream of running a restaurant one step further by opening a bistro of the same name alongside the takeaway. The pair opened the bistro earlier this month at The Kestrel Suite in Cow Lane.
They aim to offer high-quality and authentic Italian dishes like arancini, meatballs, salads, soups, paninis, pizzas, and pasta for affordable prices to help more people enjoy the pleasure of eating out while times are tough.
Speaking about their first couple of weeks in business since the bistro opened, Frankie (34) said: “Everyone has said it has amazing food but that it’s too cheap, which is good. That’s what we wanted.
"We didn’t know what to expect when we opened on a cold, snowy Wednesday. We thought it would be a slow burner, but it’s been the opposite. It’s been unbelievable.
"I think it’s because we have stuck to our guns. We’re not going to rip people off. Even if you’re hard-up you can come.
"We’re trying to make sure everything is affordable but we’ve not scrimped on the quality of the food. We’re trying to do our bit while times are difficult. If we can keep it affordable, hopefully, people will come and support us.”
One incentive designed to attract diners is one free meal for children aged 12 and under, with every adult main course (pizza/pasta) purchased. The offer runs every day at any time.
The couple’s recipes are Sicilian family secrets passed down from Frankie’s grandma. All the ingredients are imported from the region of Italy where the recipe is from.
"Cooking was never a professional thing: us kids in the Musso family were taught to cook. That passion was ingrained in us.
"My grandma was such a big influence in our lives. She always made sure the kids got fed. She would come to our school with bin bags of butties because she thought the kids looked thin.”
The business name is also inspired by Frankie’s grandma.
“Mangia means ‘eat’: that was her favourite word. She thought we were skinny.”
Being family-orientated is a big part of the vibe at the bistro, which includes a small play area.
"It has a nice light vibe; it’s not too serious, not too posh. You don’t have to dress up.
"We’re trying to keep the bistro very family-friendly. You’ll always find me, my husband, and my son there.
"It’s light-hearted, with good food, and it’s cheap so that everyone can afford it.”
Talking about its location and setting, the chef added: "People have said it’s brilliant but that they didn’t know it was here. It’s a bit of a hidden spot. The room is so beautiful, with wooden beams. The bar is all oak. I think it is the nicest room in Burnley.
“We’ve spent four and a half weeks bringing the original furnishings back to life. It’s got that wow factor.”
Mangia Pasta is open on Wednesdays from 11am to 5pm, and Thursday to Sunday from 11am to 9pm.