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Franny's slump?

kraw Nov 17, 2006 03:33 PM

Maybe it's that I've just eaten there to frequently of late and I hit the Franny's wall, but my last two dinners there in the past two months have been underwhelming and disappointing (using Franny's as the measuring stick -- it's still among the best restaurants in the area). Am I just suffering Franny's ennui, or have others had similar experiences? Also, most of the staff is great, but what's up with the hostess? Not the namesake owner, Franny: She is lovely. There is one there who is freakishly bitchy, not just to diners, but to staff, too. Interesting to watch the drama unfold, but not pleasant, not at all.

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  1. Bricks718 RE: kraw Jan 8, 2007 08:53 PM

    Forget Franny's... make your way to Lucali's for a great pizza. (nothing else on the menu but pizza at this time, but for a second last night I thought I was eating one of Domenic's creations.. he could sue for copyright infringement!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Bricks718
      surly RE: Bricks718 Jan 8, 2007 08:59 PM

      agree about the pizza at lucali, though my eating experiences there have ranged from top-notch to very good-but-not-great. i know that mark has really dedicated himself to the art of pizza making and i applaud him for that, so i guess some amount of inconsistency is to be expected while he continues to work out the kinks. still, it's one of the best new pizza joints to open up in quite some time.

      i should add that i really liked the calzone here as well. unlike most italian-american places in brooklyn and elsewhere, the calzone here is not at all greasy, but rather blistered and a little charred on the outside and fresh and oozing with bubbly ricotta on the inside. really delicious, and by far the best calzone i've had in a long time.

      1. re: surly
        redgirl RE: surly Jan 8, 2007 09:37 PM

        where is lucali's?

        1. re: redgirl
          surly RE: redgirl Jan 8, 2007 09:42 PM

          575 henry st btwn carroll st & 1st place in carroll gardens, brooklyn.

          there's plenty of discussion about the restaurant at the following threads:

          1. re: surly
            sixraccoons RE: surly Jan 9, 2007 04:09 AM

            I ate at Lucali's last night. Wow! The pizza is great! (My dining companion couldn't figure out why I wanted to get half with just plain cheese...) But, what really killed me was how visually intriguing the place is. There are no interior walls. And there is this funny, movie star looking guy making pizzas on a candlelight marble table. The tray of mozzerella infront of him looks like a decoration, until you see him rip one of them apart and put it on the pizza. Its like being in a cooking show / slash movie. And then you get the pizza. And realize that real life trumps media all the time.

        2. re: surly
          FastEddie RE: surly Jan 9, 2007 07:06 PM

          Speaking of calzone, I had a very good one at LaVilla the other night. Ordered the regular w/ sausage and carmelized onions. Top notch.

          1. re: FastEddie
            P.D. Wheatstraw RE: FastEddie Jan 10, 2007 08:08 PM

            At the risk of running away on a tangent, I love their chicken/mushroom/spinach calzone. Get a side of marinara with that--maaan. First-rate.

      2. f
        frankbooth RE: kraw Jan 10, 2007 01:27 AM

        was franny's ever really good? never saw what all the hubub was about- just like una pizza napolitana, overpriced yuppy pizza... do yourself a flavor, just go to difara and live life to the fullest!!! enjoy- fb

        2 Replies
        1. re: frankbooth
          Pan RE: frankbooth Jan 10, 2007 08:03 AM

          "was franny's ever really good?"

          Yes. I had a _terrific_ meal there last summer. And I thought the pizza I had there was on par with DiFara's, though entirely different in character.

          1. re: frankbooth
            jen kalb RE: frankbooth Jan 10, 2007 04:23 PM

            Yes their food is delicious, but IMO too expensive for a neighborhood place. The chef is trying non-traditional combinations on the pies and its working. Amorina a couple of blocks away offers food with taste in the same ballpark for considerably less and without the fuss.

          2. jason carey RE: kraw Jan 10, 2007 01:53 AM

            My gf and I spent over 110 dollars (Including T&T) for the following:
            2 pizzas (1 is way too small to share). I appetizer 1 dessert 1 bottle of lambrusco...1 espresso.. cum'n that is way too much for pizza dinner. sorry
            I went there when it first opened and it was good, but I refuse to pay London prices for Pizza in Brooklyn.

            1. r
              redgirl RE: kraw Jan 10, 2007 12:19 PM

              i have to agree with this. we had the same experience last summer but with kids and the waitress had the most sour look on her face about them (and they were well-behaved.) not worth it inho

              1. m
                MarcInSunnysideGardens RE: kraw Jan 10, 2007 07:23 PM

                Food ranges from very good to great, from my experiences, but the prices on the drinks are absolutely outrageous, IMO. I can buy into the idea of a pricier pizza place, but at least ease the cost on the wine so that it's somewhat affordable--stock cheaper bottles!!! The cheapest glass of wine is $8.

                I can't find prices on the bottles online but there's few to none under $40... It's still a rustic pizza place. There needs to be some cheap drink options... A lot of 'em...

                1 Reply
                1. re: MarcInSunnysideGardens
                  Pan RE: MarcInSunnysideGardens Jan 13, 2007 05:27 AM

                  What's expensive about an $8 glass of wine?

                  Some rustic trattorie in Italy aren't too cheap, either, by the way. The reason to go to a rustic trattoria isn't to get cheap food, but to get really good food in homey surroundings.

                2. yumyumyogi RE: kraw Feb 5, 2007 10:17 AM

                  I never understood the fuss over Franny's burnt-to-inedible pizza because I think their forte is in their small plates. I'm always impressed with their knack for choosing fresh, quality, seasonal ingredients and their simple preparations that let the flavors shine.

                  We like to sit at the bar, order several small plates and get wine recommendations from the bartender (who I found to be much friendlier than the wait staff). From someone who vowed to never go back after trying their pizza, I'm now a convert having discovered the right way to enjoy this place.

                  1. kraw RE: kraw Feb 5, 2007 05:29 PM

                    the crostinis have always been amazing and remain so, and so are the appetizers. the pizza just seemed like the hook. and the bartenders, especially karen--"kay-ron the destroyer"--is especially wonderful. her drinks are divine, her recommendations for food and wine are always on target, and her rosemary lemonade vodka drinks in the summer are the best i've ever had. but earlier in the fall, the menu wasn't changing around as much, and the sausage on the pizza wasn't as tasty or as perfectly textured as it had been in the past. perhaps i'm spoiled. . . spoiled by their good cooking. maybe they were having an exhausting couple of months. who knows? on their worst day, they are still better than most comparable places in nyc.

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