It’s no secret that I’ve grown incredibly fond of Brooklyn in a short period of time. I live in a self-contained borough with some of the best restaurants in New York City, which are typically more understated than many of the popular restaurants in Manhattan.
One establishment has received much praise since opening in 2004–Franny’s. Franny’s opened in Prospect Heights, most likely putting the neighborhood on the map from a culinary perspective. Their farm to table approach to pizza and pasta is well received by food lovers all over the city.
My friend Brooke and I had dinner there recently, and the locavore’s delight lived up to the hype overall. I would like to thank Brooke for taking over most of the photography duties for the evening too.
We decided not to wait for a table and instead eat at the bar. I’ll admit that I’m not usually a huge fan of eating at a restaurant’s bar because the seats aren’t very comfortable. Thankfully, for most of our evening, we had a very relaxing meal for two.
We started the meal with a Salumi Plate consisting of Mortadella di Fegato, Spicy Salami and Pancetta. This was quickly followed by Crostini of Homemade Ricotta, Spinach and Nettles. I wasn’t overly blown away by any of the salumi, which surprised me–I’m a mortadella obsessed girl. I admittedly missed cheese to pair with the meat. We were both fans of the crostini, however, which was deceivingly flavorful. The nettles added a surprising lemony zing to each bite, which left us wanting more. Our only slight complaint was not having more topping on the bread.
After having relatively light starters, we had the opposite experience with our mains — first up was Pizza with Ramps, Egg, Buffalo Mozzarella, Chilies, Capers and Pecorino. Soon after, we received our Maccheroni with Spicy Pork Sausage, Scallions and Parmigiana Reggiano. Wow! Talk about a fulfilling pair of plates to warm our bellies with.
After breaking the egg on the pizza, it was time to dig in. Ramps, which are essentially wild leeks, are an uber popular spring vegetable in New York City, and these were delightful to the taste. I loved the twists of buffalo mozzarella, coated in pecorino with accents of chilies. I could have eaten these on their own dipped in the egg, but the crust on the pizza was incredible as well. It was cooked perfectly, and held up very well with the toppings.
Brooke loved the maccheroni, stating the flavors were exactly what she was looking for. The dish reminded me of an elegant version of cheeseburger macaroni, a huge childhood favorite of mine. The pasta was cooked al dente, which always adds nice texture. I wonder if Franny’s offers takeout, because this would be a wonderful dish to eat in the comforts of one’s home.
Our only faux pas of the meal–in my opinion–was opting for a pair of Meyer Lemon Limoncello drinks over an actual dessert. Disappointed that the drinks weren’t ice cold, I also found mine overly sweet and syrupy. Brooke was kind enough to compliment the beverage after a few minutes, but my opinion was formed. Unfortunately, by then, we were surrounded by a loud group of people waiting for a table, so that made it hard for us to converse over our already mediocre potables.
All in all, we each had positive reviews about the meal–the pizza and maccheroni highly outshined the minor weaknesses I’ve pointed out. Best of all, Franny’s is just a few blocks away from my apartment, so I can go back any time I want. Next time, I’ll eliminate the limoncello for sure.