There’s something to be said for a restaurant with a kitchen the size of Frankies – there’s one on Court St in Carrol Gardens and another on Clinton St in the Lower East Side (and another opening any day now in the West Village) – that can put out food with so much flavor packed onto one plate. Not that this is complex fare by any stretch. This is comfort food to the core, rich with intensity and honesty and always consistent. The menus rarely change (why would they?) and are essentially identical. You could kick things off with a delicious crostini that might run the gamut from chicken liver and pistachio, chickpea and guanciale, to a creamy cannellini, caper, lemon and anchovy. Maybe a plate of house cured meats might be more your thing. Or a salad of shaved raw fennel, celery root, red onion, parsley, lemon and pecorino was a lively crunchy delight. Me, I just can’t say no to a simple lentil and smoked bacon soup mopped up with warm crusty bread, followed by one of the city’s best sandwiches: take your pick, it’s a deadly lineup, but the Sicilian tuna with arugula, red onion and tomato needs to be tasted to be believed. The roast beef, thankfully not overfilled like so many places do, is also served on barely toasted, barely charred Turkish bread that takes each sandwich to new heights. But then again, there’s a few ‘specials’ that are highlights also: pork braciola with marinara sauce, a ridiculous sweet sausage stew of sorts with braised red peppers and onions over creamy polenta and an awesome plate of meatballs. Do not miss at least a couple of the sides also. Oh, enough already!
457 Court St, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Ph: 718 403 0033. www.frankiesspuntino.com.