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Is Frankies 17 the best restaurant in NYC?

Blumie Oct 3, 2010 12:26 PM

I know, I know, lots of you are going to reply that I'm crazy, or that it depends on what one means by "best," but is there any restaurant that offers a better combination of deliciousness, value, ambiance and service? On top of which, I refuse to believe that there's a better meatball sandwich anywhere on the planet! (I haven't tried it, but my gf goes nuts for their octopus salad.)

If you go, try the Sinebrychoff, a delicious porter from Fineland. And although I haven't tried the desserts, they serve a GREAT cup of coffee.

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    ilanars RE: Blumie Oct 3, 2010 04:34 PM

    Why hasn't your gf allowed you a taste of the octopus salad? This prompts the question of plate sharing philosophy: do you have a plate sharing philosophy?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ilanars
      Blumie RE: ilanars Oct 3, 2010 08:25 PM

      Funny, when she read this post, she immediately apologized for having never let me try the octopus salad! I'm sure she has offered in the past, and I told her that next time I would order the octopus salad AND the meatball sandwich!

    2. p
      Pan RE: Blumie Oct 4, 2010 12:32 AM

      If that's the same as Frankie's Spuntino, 17 Clinton, yeah, that's crazy. :-) Good place, though.

      1. sgordon RE: Blumie Oct 4, 2010 10:01 AM


        But you could argue it's -one of- the best at its price point, and I wouldn't debate it.

        1. daffyduck RE: Blumie Oct 4, 2010 10:14 AM

          so besides their famous cavatelli are the must haves the meatball sandwich and octupus salad?

          3 Replies
          1. re: daffyduck
            Blumie RE: daffyduck Oct 4, 2010 11:16 AM

            We also enjoy all of the crostini very much. Also, on a recent visit, I saw what appeared to be the meatballs served on top of the cavatelli. It's not offered that way on the menu, but the waitress said it certainly can be done.

            1. re: Blumie
              daffyduck RE: Blumie Oct 4, 2010 11:26 AM

              sounds awesome! do they replace the sausage in the cavatelli for the meatballs? or are the meatballs an addition?

              1. re: daffyduck
                Blumie RE: daffyduck Oct 4, 2010 11:54 AM

                It appeared to be an entirely different dish. I think they just cooked the cavatelli and then placed the meatballs and marinara sauce on top.

                BTW, they stock red pepper flakes, which I always ask for to put on my meatball sandwiches. If I were to order the cavatelli and meatballs, I would get the red pepper flakes, and also would ask for some of the grated cheese that they use on the meatball sandwich. Yum!

          2. s
            sugartoof RE: Blumie Oct 5, 2010 12:43 AM

            The Stumptown Coffee from their next door cafe Pedlar, is really good.

            I'm not sure I get the appeal otherwise, so I need to get back there and try those meatballs. I wonder if they're similar to the Meatball Shop's recipe?

            The only thing I've had at Frankies 17 is one of the sandwiches, which was on the boring side, and not really substantial enough on it's own. The bread tasted house made, but lacked salt, or much flavor, and almost seemed undercoked. I really had high hopes for it, so I'll give it another chance based on your enthusiasm.

            18 W 29th Street, New York, NY 10001

            1 Reply
            1. re: sugartoof
              sgordon RE: sugartoof Oct 5, 2010 10:21 AM

              If you haven't tried the house-made cavatelli w/ Faicco's sausage... well worth it on your next visit. That's the dish that many (justifiably) go nuts over. My usual dinner would be that plus a seasonal salad of some kind.

              The sandwiches I've not been blown away by either - the tuna was very good, but otherwise nothing I'd go out of my way for.

              260 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

            2. z
              Zhuuls RE: Blumie Nov 7, 2010 08:58 PM

              I'm a Frankies fan, that meatball sandwich IS delicious. And there is just something about eating there that is so relaxed while still having that specialness of going out to eat- I'm looking for similar places to treat a boyfriend, any thoughts?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Zhuuls
                Pan RE: Zhuuls Nov 7, 2010 11:41 PM

                To me, Supper feels similar. Not sure about you; you'll have to let us know. But I like the place and recommend it.

              2. p
                Pan RE: Blumie Nov 12, 2010 09:49 PM

                OK, I went to Frankie's Spuntino as part of a party of 3 for dinner for the first time in a long time yesterday night. Not only is it not the best restaurant in New York, it's not even close to being the best restaurant between 14th St. and Delancey east of 3rd Av. Of all the things we had last night, the only really memorable thing was the dessert with the prunes and mascarpone - which was actually the only thing my girlfriend remembered from our previous trip, too. The rest of the meal was fine but no better than and perhaps not as good as Supper, to take just one of the other solid but not incredible Italian restaurants in the area.

                For the record, we had a special salad that included sunchokes (pleasant), Cremini Mushrooms (good, but it's hard to mess up mushrooms), Farro with Parmigiano (not too interesting and far inferior to Lupa's farrotto of any variety), House-Made Cavatelli with Faiccos Hot Sausage & Browned Sage Butter (good), House-Made Papardelle with Braised Lamb Ragu (could have been more lamby; the version my girlfriend and I had at Frank recently was both creamier and lambier - and better), Meatballs with Pine Nuts & Raisins (good but not particularly memorable).

                So in conclusion, would I recommend Frankie's? Sure, if you're in the area. Otherwise, I think not, and I will not be rushing back.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Pan
                  Blumie RE: Pan Nov 13, 2010 02:45 PM

                  [with fingers in ears] NA NA NA NA NA I'M NOT LISTENING TO YOU NA NA NA NA NA

                  1. re: Pan
                    daffyduck RE: Pan Nov 13, 2010 03:00 PM

                    "House-Made Papardelle with Braised Lamb Ragu (could have been more lamby; the version my girlfriend and I had at Frank recently was both creamier and lambier - and better),"
                    Where is Frank?

                    1. re: daffyduck
                      kathryn RE: daffyduck Nov 13, 2010 04:04 PM


                      1. re: daffyduck
                        Pan RE: daffyduck Nov 13, 2010 04:09 PM

                        Frank is at 88 2nd Av. between 5th and 6th Sts.:


                        It can be unduly popular at peak hours. I won't wait outside for a table, but I do go occasionally when it's not busy. It's a bit expensive for the quality, so I give it only a qualified recommendation (the shaved fennel with balsamic dressing and parmigiano had way too much dressing in general and wasn't properly tossed). I think that of the 3 associated restaurants - Frank, L'il Frankie's, and Supper (Frankies Spuntino is unrelated) - Supper is the best and probably the best value.

                        1. re: Pan
                          princeofpork RE: Pan Nov 14, 2010 06:31 AM

                          Isnt Max part of that group as well?

                          1. re: princeofpork
                            Pan RE: princeofpork Nov 14, 2010 09:31 AM

                            No. The website I linked above shows which restaurants are part of the group. For the record, I was decidedly unimpressed by Max when I went there a few years ago. Overly salty and otherwise not worth trying a second time, and I haven't.

                            1. re: Pan
                              princeofpork RE: Pan Nov 14, 2010 09:41 AM

                              I thought Max and Frank were the same owners. I guess I was wrong. The wait at both makes them undesirable regardless.

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