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Is Frankies 17 the best restaurant in NYC?

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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  1. 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

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

      1. No.

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

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

          3 Replies
          1. re: daffyduck

            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

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

              1. re: daffyduck

                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. 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

              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. 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

                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. 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

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

                  1. re: Pan

                    "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

                        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

                          Isnt Max part of that group as well?

                          1. re: princeofpork

                            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

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