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Franny's: Worthwhile?

s
smcgill May 30, 2007 06:06 PM

Franny's has received a lot of praise, but it's gotten its share of grief on this site...mostly related to price, service and attitude. Overall, do you think it's worth a trip?

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  1. bobjbkln May 30, 2007 07:02 PM

    While Franny's is quite expensive for what it is (interesting pizza) it's not in the Per Se (or even River Café) category. With a beer or a glass of wine, you'll get out with $25-$30 per person. So it's worth trying it once. If you like this kind of personal gourmet pizza, you'll be pleased to come back. If you're more of a DiFara's, Totonno's, Lucali type, you'll end up with a one-time enjoyable dinner that is not worth being repeated.

    1. j
      josh L Jun 1, 2007 12:02 PM

      i've found the place to be pretty souless, not worthy of the cash or the hype. they do, however have a killer pr rep.

      1. f
        frankbooth Jun 2, 2007 09:58 AM

        not worth the $$$- expensive, bland and boring. fills a need for richy rich park slope (my hood for the last 15 years-wow has the neighborhood changed- from krakton to yuppiedom...), but not very exciting or amazing. the best part of the pizzas (which are pretty small) were the meats (salumi)- meats are excellent, besides that, meh... anthony's on 7th ave bet 14 and 15th st. is a much better value and imho much better (snarkier). enjoy fb

        1. seal Jun 2, 2007 05:39 PM

          Gotta go with popular opinion and buck popular opinion ;o)

          Franny's is just alright - certainly nothing worth going out of your way for. It kind of reminded me of a pale imitation of any decent Italian trattoria/wine bar.

          1. Gluttonous Prime Jun 29, 2007 06:56 AM

            I actually really enjoyed Franny's, and I'm certainly not rich (I like to say "almost poor") or typically into hype. I'm usually very suspicious about over-priced fare (like "high-end Chinese food"), but, seeing the difference of opinion on this board, wanted to give it a shot.

            Our waitress was helpful and friendly, the food was good (especially the cucumber mint salad!), and, though I did think the pizzas were pricey, $5 here or there didn't matter when the overall experience was pleasant.

            My experience was also heightened by the belligerent drunk guy, clad in overalls, opening the door and yelling, "I love Franny's." Then he got into fisticuffs with a customer, and, sources say, they had a standoff outside, during which the drunk guy waved a Duane Reade bag over his head like a ball-and-chain.

            Dinner and a show...not bad.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Gluttonous Prime
              a
              albinoni Jun 29, 2007 07:16 AM

              I used to live in this neighborhood, moved out almost 10 years ago when no place like Franny's would even think of opening there. The drunk guy episode made me laugh--maybe there's still hope that Prospect Heights won't become the next UWS.

            2. JenMarie66 Jun 29, 2007 12:30 PM

              I've had a couple nice experiences at Franny's (and I'm more of a poory-poor Windsor Terrace person than a richy-rich Park Sloper). I've always gone at off-hours with a few friends & we've always left happy (and un-rushed). I think Franny's was way over-hyped when it opened and so a lot of people who go assume they'll be having some transcendent experience and are, inevitably, disappointed. I happen to like their pizza, their garden, and their wine list a lot & I think it's worth a trip. Just remember it won't be a life-changing experience.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JenMarie66
                TBird Jun 22, 2008 07:49 AM

                yeah we enjoy frannys occassionly too. last night was no exception. six points sweet action & a tom/mozz/sausage/garlic pie is the BEST!

              2. MB fka MB Jun 22, 2008 09:11 PM

                Not worthwhile. It's completely overrated, and certainly overpriced. I live in the area and I've been a few times, I keep going back thinking that I'll like it more ("oh, just give it another try"). but as an early poster says, it really is soul-less and I think that contributes to why I don't like it.

                pizzas so not worth the investment. at all. really. although they do use a very nice olive oil (in all their dishes) I had a great rhubarb cocktail there last week - delightful and well worth the $13 price tag. But I paid freaking $8 or $9 for a crostino of spring onions and ricotta. It was very good, but this price for ONE piece of TOAST!? grrrrr.... with earlier visits I had some good dishes - a lovely white bean soup, a sausage and pasta dish, but on other visits the same pasta dish was bland and the octopus was fishy and tough. and so at this price - even though it's a 5 minute walk from my house - I have to say that franny's is not worthwhile. never mind the snarky attitude.

                for my money, I'll head over to Bocca Lupo on Henry at Warren and have fantastic bruschetta - for $2.50 each (and served with some nice gardinier), lovely salads, great sides and pastas and panini and all for HALF the price and certainly equal quality.

                these are my favorites:
                Veal & Porcini Meat Balls (way better than frankie's 457)
                Warm Farro & Mushrooms with balsamic

                bruschetta:
                Spring Pea with mascarpone & prosciutto
                Creamy Mushroom & Leek with truffle cheese
                Sausage, Fennel & Caramelized Cipolle
                Tuscan Chicken Liver Pate with cranberries

                2 Replies
                1. re: MB fka MB
                  g
                  Geo8rge Jun 23, 2008 11:09 AM

                  Franny's is not a pizza place. It is a hip bar with an interesting take on pizza. One goes there to spend money, and be around youngish good looking wealthyish people. BTW, I liked the expensive Gelato too.

                  I agree that $50 will buy a lot more pizza elsewhere.

                  1. re: Geo8rge
                    TBird Jun 23, 2008 11:16 AM

                    no comprende. our pizza was $17, pint of sweet action was $7, glass of barbera was $9. didn't really notice any extraordinarily good looking or wealthyish people. maybe i'm simply one of "them"?lol

                2. famdoc Jun 23, 2008 12:39 PM

                  I think there's too much emphasis on the pizza aspect of Franny's. Sure, they bill themselves as a bar/pizza joint. But, they also source meat, fish and vegetables from local and/or sustainable sources. Now, I know those words have become cliche and mean little to most people who like pizza and a good chianti, but their pastas and appetizers are quite good, too. And, the wine list is well-selected. I know of few other places in NYC where you can find Ligurian wines from the region of the Cinque Terre, for example.

                  Depending upon the hour of one's arrival, one might expect to see Park Slope/Prospect Heights families with kids, PS/PH adults without kids and Brooklyn barflies.

                  Yes, it's steeper than most pizza joints, but the product is good. Spend a moment and watch the pizza makers in front of the oven in the back. You're paying a few bucks for their careful work. Besides, most of the best pizza places (Lucali, DiFara, etc.) get the equivalent of $4 or more for a slice (yes, I know, Lucali's doesn't sell slices, but I said 'equivalent of $4 a slice').

                  I've never gotten attitude at Franny's. Recognizing that they don't take reservations, I either arrive early for a table or wait my turn at the bar.

                  Overall, Franny's is an asset to the neighborhood, in my opinion.

                  1. r
                    Ralphus Jun 30, 2008 12:59 PM

                    Had our first (and imho long overdue) trip to Franny's this weekend for lunch. I'll go out on a long limb and say that Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix is my favorite pizza in the world and I thought Franny's could hang, albeit in a sidekick role.

                    Had the beef tongue and pork cheek terrine with some sort of pickled garnish and it was very tasty. Terrines can go horribly wrong but this had nice chunks of each meat and a good flavor.
                    For pies, we had the mozz, tom and sausage which was solid and the clam, parsley, chili which was unique and very good. I never eat the crust on my pies but i ate every single morsel of these. Nice char, little smoky but not overly charcoal tasting. Fluffy, light dough. Had two Six Points and the total was in the $70 range. Now, that's a bit pricey for lunch (was a special occasion) but I left feeling like it was worth every penny. Not a pizzeria per se, but a nice meal and experience.

                    1. b
                      bhill Jun 30, 2008 04:40 PM

                      I think the tough part with this original post (from a year ago) is that it's hard to pin down what a person's standards for "worthwhile" are. I've only been to Franny's once, and I thought the food was delicious, but definitely 20% more expensive than I'd expect... and I don't mind dropping a couple bucks for a good meal. I haven't been back since, but I wouldn't call the place overrated, yuppie or souless. It is what it is. If you won't agree with the price point, if you don't think it's "worth" it, then don't go back.

                      I don't think it's "worth" sitting on the train for an hour and waiting for a pizza at DiFara more than once or so a year. Doesn't mean the place is bad.

                      I found Franny's delicious, quality but overpriced food.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bhill
                        b
                        banquo Jul 5, 2008 07:09 PM

                        Franny's is great. Really, really good pizza. Just look at the prices on their online menu. Given what they're trying to do and what they've accomplished, I just can't understand why people complain endlessly about their prices. If it were in Manhattan, it would be mobbed. To answer the original poster's questions: I've never experienced any attitude or service problems, so I would say it is definitely worth trying.

                        1. re: bhill
                          s
                          sarapeater Jul 10, 2008 06:41 PM

                          I agree with bhill - it's good, overpriced, and worth the wait every once in awhile

                        2. s
                          shivohum Jul 5, 2008 10:54 PM

                          Yes. I think Franny's is one of the top two or three best pizzas in New York (rivalling, though different than, Di Fara's and Grimaldi's).

                          The Vegetarian New Yorker: http://vegny.blogspot.com/

                          1. c
                            coho Jul 10, 2008 08:54 PM

                            Overhyped and overpriced. We had a weekend without the kids recently, and ate at Convivium Osterio on one night, and Franny's the next. Spent the same amount of money at either restaurant, and was blown away at Convivium, and underwhelmed ar Franny's. Among other dishes, we had similar pasta dishes for similar prices at both restaurants (basically a pasta w/ pork sausage sauce), and Convivium was vastly superior. I thought the pizzas were not horribly priced but not particularly special, compared to other high-end pizza places in NYC. However, the prices for the sides were outrageous. $10 for a handful of pole beans in olive oil? The service was good and they were very friendly, but I don't think i will be frequenting this place despite the fact it is across the street from our apt.

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