But every now and then it is worth a punt in to the unknown.
We very rarely eat out in Chorley, but my fiancée and I both had a rare midweek day off work, leading us for a quick trip north of our home to the centre of the town.
We were pretty ignorant of the eating scene in Chorley, but decided to trust our gut.
I’d heard of Cosmopolitan in Chorley for its decent range of – surprise surprise – cocktails.
But we went in to the restaurant with a blank slate.
Established in 2011, the restaurant’s website says it has aims of producing the “best dining experience using locally-sourced produce”.
The restaurant itself is hidden away with a courtyard to the front.
It gives the place a secluded feel that quickly makes you forget you’re only round the corner from the Market Walk shopping centre.
Upon entry we were warmly greeted by the hospitality team and shown to our seats. The decor was simple and somewhat Mediterranean.
I felt more like I was in Spain rather than Chorley. I think it helped by the fact it was set back off the road with only the restaurant’s courtyard visible from the eating area. I liked it immediately.
With it being a Wednesday we opted for the Sunday to Friday fixed price menu, where you can get three courses for £17.95. The value alone seemed too good to be true.
To start I chose the salt and pepper calamari with aioli and red pepper salsa and dressed rocket, while my wife-to-be Rebecca opted for the pork and chorizo meatballs with tomato Napoli sauce, fresh Parmesan cheese and garlic ciabatta.
The calamari was good. Not the best I’ve ever had, but there were no complaints. As always the salsa and aioli brought it to life; both of which were fresh and tasteful.
I tried Rebecca’s dish, which was oozing with Italian flavour. The garlic ciabatta combined with the Napoli sauce was really, really good. I was a little bit jealous, I won’t lie.
Next up was the main course. I opted for the flaked teriyaki salmon with Singapore-style stir fried noodles and toasted peanuts.
It sounded fresh, and stood out straight away for me as it combined two of my favourite flavours in South East Asian cuisine.
What I’ll say right now is that this is an absolute steal and a must try, especially on such an affordable menu. The salmon flaked with ease and was divine when combined with the teriyaki flavours.
The peanuts added a subtle, savoury aftertaste that contrasted well with the sweetness of the teriyaki.
Rebecca chose the rosemary chicken and chorizo tagliatelle, which came in a creamy, herb-scented cheese sauce.
I got a fair crack at trying this as the portion was extremely generous – as my main was too – meaning Rebecca left a fair bit at the end.
But us Yorkshiremen don’t do waste, so in I went for my obligatory taste test.
It’s easy to be overpowering with rosemary, but this was subtle, with just enough there to let you know it was in the dish.
The chicken was moist and the sauce was just how I like it. Once again, it was a dish that you would be very satisfied with – especially on such an affordable menu in such a pleasant location.
After a bit of a break and another drink we chose dessert.
The white chocolate and raspberry creme brulee stuck out for me, while it was the Bailey’s tiramisu for my better half.
The creme brulee was just right in that the top was freshly crystallised, and as such warm, with a cool custard underneath.
It was too much for me though, so I had to leave a little, to my own disappointment. There was just no more room in the Earnshaw Inn.
I tried the tiramisu – which was presented in a really appetising manner – and it had everything you would want in it. There was just enough of a coffee aftertaste to not need an espresso to finish the night off.
Chorley is a great little place – and its credit to the place that within it are these little gems that bring eclectic world culture to the historic market town.
Food – 4/5
Service – 4/5
Atmosphere – 5/5
Value – 5/5