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Major Downhill Alert: Frank in the East Village

l
Lila Nov 1, 2000 05:35 AM

Until last night, I hadn’t been to Frank since it opened. While I wasn’t a huge fan, my friend and I did enjoy our entrees then - a fresh piece of salmon with a side of red peppers and a simple roast chicken. In the past year this place’s popularity has increased tenfold, and they’ve responded by adding a bar next door as well as delivery service. Perhaps this accounts for the major slide in the quality of food, because last night’s meal was a different story.

We sat down to a bowl of black olives, ice cold, and inexplicably scented with a handful of orange zest. We munched on bread instead (also cold, but crusty and nicely burnt) while we waited for our appetizers – a disappointingly limp plate of undressed (?) organic green salad, and a bowl of mussels which were puny and served in a watery sauce of broth and pureed tomato.

That, unfortunately, was not the last we’d see of that sauce. We’d ordered pasta, hoping for something warm and homey on the cold night. My gnocchi was pathetic – little nubs (no bigger than my pinky nail) of dough drowned in a watery green-flecked tomato sauce tasting of nothing more than acid and cream. My friend’s smoked ricotta ravioli was also floating in a sea of the same vile sauce. In fact, as we looked around, we saw that they doused all their pastas, as well as the mussels, in the same lame red sauce regardless. Is that the mark of a lazy (or overextended) kitchen, or what?

  1. j
    Jessica Shatan Nov 2, 2000 08:27 AM

    Sounds awful!
    One thing though: the black olive and orange zest was one-off for Halloween. Not an excuse but an explanation. I've seen various black/orange things around at restaurants in the past few days. Some worked, some didn't.

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