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Franny's, I'm over it

I used to love Franny's. I was there the first month they opened, and loved how the pizzas changed frequently. I could even stomach the prices for the exceptional quality.

However, while the appetizers have gotten more interesting, it seems that the pizza menu *(the real draw) hardly changes. Well, there was the recent change where they took the very excellent provolone picante pizza w/ roasted onions, and stopped roasting the onions; now they are raw. Not worth ordering.

Further, they used to do fabulous things with pancetta that went way beyond the now-predictable meat pizzas that have been on the menu for ages.

Please, bring the pancetta back--especially the one w/ the fried egg.

ok, finally. Franny's has great wines...but $12 a glass? Some really solid $7-10 options would be much appreciated.

all that being said, amazing pizza and unusual and nicely selected wines...but please, please start listening to your regular customers.

thanks.

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  1. overpriced, overrated, good p.r.

    1. listening to your customers is something the chef's never been inclined to do, as far as i know. when Franny's first opened the NY Times ran a splashy feature, along the lines of cooking at home w/ the chef/owner and his wife, and he made all kinds of obnoxious comments about how customers had raved about one of his creations that was no longer on the menu and had begged him to bring it back, but he was 'only interested in doing whatever he felt like' and wasn't about to be dictated to by his customers, or something to that effect. i found it so incredibly off-putting and annoying i never got around to checking the place out, despite early enthusiasm to do so. that, coupled with things i've heard about wine prices and even pie prices, no matter how good they may be, was enough. there's just too much good stuff out there in NYC and life's too short to line up like a masochistic foodie for this kind of treatment. it is, after all, called the 'hospitality industry.'

      1. man, there are some real lovers and haters for Frannys on these boards, arent there. i first read tons of good stuff bout them across the web but recently it seems a little wierd...i still would love to try them out - even if theyre specifically NOT a pizza joint, but a proper restaurant, as it were. i think with all the normal 'joints' out there, theres more than enough room for a nicer place. gourmet pizza is also something that is only foreign or new to us in the US, in Italy nearly all pizza makers would consider themselves artisans or gourmet.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ben61820

          I don't know where you get your pizza in italy, but from my experience, pizza in italy is not usually considered "gourmet." It may be far far better than most pizza here (and it usually is) but in rome and naples (the two places of which I have knowledge) pizza is still considered, like it is here, to be a faster, cheaper meal than a regular trattoria or restaurant.
          Many pizza makers do consider themselves artisans, but that doesn't mean they are expensive. and the issues with franny's have to do with price, not quality. So, to me, franny's is very unitalian, in that it is charging high prices for something that is meant to be cheaper/more accessible.

          1. re: missmasala

            Great reminder, and thanks. At its best in Naples and Rome, pizza is made with artisanal care and obsession. But it's always casual, relatively cheap, and unpretentious; in fact, many trattorie that have an oven will only serve pizza in the evenings, as a kind of light supper. I've had great pizza in Naples for 5 euros a pie, with a 4 euro bottle of local wine. And felt like royalty.

            1. re: missmasala

              point taken miss masala. and yes, i was referring to philosophical standpoint of most of the pizzamakers in Italy that i met. just in that they were devoted, or at least interested, in what they do. they are invested on a level deeper than MOST of the american pizzamakers i come across. notice i said MOST. not all. Lucalli's is, for just one example, a clearcut exeption. that man and team put their all into their product. and it shines through in the meal you get.

              1. re: ben61820

                totally agree on lucalli's. great pizza by someone who puts his all into it. his mentor, BTW, is dom from difara's, another great example of what pizza should be, in the italian style--not expensive, but made with care and delicious.

          2. I've never been a fan -- sure, the pizza's tasty, and I don't mind paying for quality and atmosphere, butI've never found the people working there to be particularly hospitable. The place has a downright "snotty" vibe to it that I have no patience for.

            1. This thread will probably get removed but I'm going to put my 2 cents in anyway. I don't like to be too negative about a person's business venture, bad Karma and all that, but when it comes to Franny's I can't really think of a good thing to say.
              Wait, yes I can. They have a really well built wood-burning oven. It's the best thing about the place. But they waste it on these cute, pretentious, overpriced pizzas. Maybe they'll go out of business and somebody with real pizza talent will move in? The potential is there but they're too hung up on themselves to take advantage of it.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Gnu23

                Im a neighbor and we've been to Franny's once only. The food was delicious and I do like Franny. So why only once? Its pricey and its a scene (not our scene). Personally Id rather go over to Amorina, very good food (maybe not QUITE as good) but definitely cheaper and not as much of a THING. Frankly, different strokes for different people, its ok not to like a place but to pretend they are going to go out of business because you dont - well thats just fantasy, they are doing a great business and deservedly so, if they can pull it off.

                1. re: jen kalb

                  I said "maybe" they'll go out of business. I don't wish that on them. I'm only speculating as to what may lead to a better use of the enormous oven they've built. I'm responding to the OP who was voicing frustrations about the limited menu, high prices and lack of variation. I used to be a Franny's regular (the scene never bothered me) but now I don't go back for those reasons.
                  All other aspects aside, the food is delicious and it is prepared well. The topic of this thread is that it's not enough to just have a handful of delicious items that are overpriced. There is just too much competition.