Saturday, January 30, 2010

Frankies Spuntino - meatball king?

After reading Joe DiStefano's recap of the meatball smack-down in BK, I decided I had to try the winning balls at Frankies Spuntino in Carroll Gardens. I decided to make it a date night with the bf, as well.

At around 8pm on a Sunday night, business was good, but not bustling. We waited five minutes to be seated at the bar. If we had waited another five, I'm sure we would have gotten a table.

We started out with roasted eggplant crostini ($3). Just one. I expected at least two, but in all fairness, they menu didn't denote multiples - I incorrectly assumed. It was a little greasy for my taste, but still very good. The bf had no complaints, as he would probably pour a bottle of olive oil down his throat every morning if it were economically feasible.

Main dishes came out relatively quickly, we hadn't even finished our single crostini yet.

Boyfriend had Sweet Sausage, Roasted Red Peppers & Onions over Pine Nut Polenta ($14).

As you've probably gleaned, I'm not the biggest fan of swine. The roasted red pepper inflected sauce was very tasty and delicious with the polenta, that was a bit flavorless without the juices. I was assured by the bf that when you had all elements of the dish on your fork at once, it was a party of the palate.

I, of course, opted for the Meatballs with Pine Nuts & Raisins ($10).

Three giant meatballs, no pasta. All beef, with pine nuts and raisins, of course. Very tasty, but a bit much. I prefer meatballs with beef, pork (I know) and veal. All veal, if possible. The raisins and pignoli were delicious additions and excited me because I often put both in my kofta and meatballs and kofta are just distant cousins. I only made it through one meatball, bf polished off one and I took one home. The sauce was nothing spectacular. Is it the best meatball I've ever had? No. But it's probably the best meatball I've ever eaten in a restaurant. I wish the plating had been one ball on a bed of homemade bucatini, but I'm a carb slut, so what else would you expect?

My boyfriend (and his never-ending appetite and superior metabolism) was still hungry, so we got Frankie's Anti(posti?)pasti ($15), afterwards.

not my hand, by the nails were polished turquoise that night

More swine. Ugh. We actually ordered marinated mushrooms in addition to the broccoli rabe as the vegetable accompaniment and they brought out the cauliflower instead. After we alerted the bartender/server, he also brought out a giant bowl of mushrooms. The broccoli rabe was good, again a little heavy-handed with the olio olive (it should be noted that Frankies Spuntino sells their own). The cauliflower was delightful, crispy and a little nutty. The mushrooms were perfectly satisfactory, but nothing that I would order again. The cheese selections that came out were moliterno and montasio. I was unfamiliar with both, but the rind on the moliterno had a bit of a kick.

I have a weakness for sweets, so I couldn't leave without trying dessert. I opted for the Red Wine Prunes with Mascarpone Creme ($6.50).

Obviously, my photography sucks and prunes aren't glamorous - but this dessert was delicious. It was absolutely the best thing about the whole meal. The mascarpone was creamy and just sweet enough. The prunes were juicy and reminiscent of Japanese plum wine because of the maceration. The sauce was tart and a nice counter to the sweet cream. I could have easily eaten two of these.

Frankies Spuntino was a pleasant dining experience. It isn't destination dining, but it's a nice place to stop into if you are in the area for a bite. It can be casual, or it can be romantic. In retrospect, I wouldn't have ordered the antipasti plate or the crostini - the only dishes on the menu that seemed overpriced on an otherwise modest bill.

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