Before my friend Andrea left NYC for Kansas City, she made a list of restaurants she always wanted to go to, and I was more than happy to accompany her on a few before she headed out of town. So back in July we went to Frank, the famous East Village Italian restaurant known for its great value.
Frank is a very intimate spot with just a few tables inside and some outside on the sidewalk, with an adjoining bar area. Despite the limited seating, we were seated without much of a wait and started with the appetizer special – steamed mussels. They were pretty good, but not the best that I’ve had. If you like mussels they’re worth a try, but I guess I’m used to traditional mussels marinara with a lot of marinara sauce.
For dinner I had the spinach gnocci in a tomato sauce and Andrea had the special seafood risotto. I loved my gnocci. Hands down, gnocci is one of my favorite things to eat. You know it’s done right when it tastes and feels like pillows of heaven in your mouth. This gnocci was clearly homemade and the individual dumplings were sticking to one another in a this-could-almost-be-raw-dough way…in other words, it was delightful. I was a big fan of the accompanying sauce and was so happy when I had enough for leftovers the next day. While I didn’t try Andrea’s risotto, it certainly looked delicious and she raved about it.
After all the hype about Frank,Â Max and Supper, etc., being such great bargains, I couldn’t believe I had never tried one of these sister restaurants before, but I’m glad I finally did. If you’re looking for an affordable and decent Italian meal in the city, Frank is certainly a great option. I haven’t tried the other restaurants in this group (if you have, please comment on them), but I’m looking forward to eating my way through them.
Location: 88 Second Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets
Who to take: Small spot so just one or two people – friend, date, family member
Price: $$ -$$$ – regular menu items are under $20
Overall: 4 Stars – good food, great value