My Favorite Favorite Restaurants: Frankies Spuntino


Frankies cavatalli

What makes a favorite favorite restaurant?

It’s not the food, or the drinks, or the ambiance. It’s the sum of all these things, plus the can’t-put-your-finger-on feeling of happiness from the moment you walk in to the moment you leave.

A favorite favorite restaurant is a happy place. And Frankies is my first New York favorite favorite restaurant.

Taking a dear friend to Frankies last night for their blue crab pasta special made me see Frankies through her eyes. Just as I had been four years ago, she was totally charmed by the exposed brick walls and romantic lighting that make it feel like an authentic trattoria you’d find in Montalcino. The cocktails, the wine, the service, all of it flawless. And then the menu.

For my friend’s first time, I initiated her with Frankies Best Hits. Crostini. Meatballs. Those gorgeous salads. The perfect tiramisu. And of course, Frankies cavatelli with Faiccos hot sausage and brown sage butter. Those wrigley ricotta worms glossy with fragrant butter, two forks hunting for more of that porky, peppery sausage.


Frankies blue claw crab pasta

The blue claw crab pasta is a seasonal special written about with a lot of love in the Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion and Cooking Manual, and I was so excited to try it last night. Plump crab tossed through a sweet tomato sauce with nothing more than aromatic basil – summer on a plate, even if it was gray and drizzly outside.

We actually wanted to get married at Frankies in 2011, but (at that time at least) they didn’t allow more than two people to dance at any one time (that’s called a cabaret license, isn’t that cute?). And my people are dancing people! No matter, Frankies is my happy place.

Frankies Spuntino, 457 Court St, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

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