one.three.twelve: Franny’s

Located at 295 Flatbush Avenue, Franny’s is very popular, so by Saturday at 6:30 the place was already packed.  The friendly hostess told us we’d have to wait 45 minutes for a table, but either the time flew because the place was cozy and the vibe was friendly or we actually only waited around 20 minutes.

Everything you need to know about it can be found on their helpful website. One quirk that might be overlooked is that during the week the restaurant doesn’t open until 5:30.

What we drank

Karen: 2008 Valle dell’ Acate Nero d’Avola Case Ibidini Sicilia
Joan: 2008 Bisson Prosecco dei Colli Trevigiani Liguria
Tricia: Villa di Corlo Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro Amabile
Emilia Romagna

What we ate


Crostino of Wood-Roasted Pancetta & Herb Butter
Controne Bean Salad with Pancetta and Radicchio

Tomato, Garlic, Oregano and Parmigiano Reggiano
Tomato, Buffalo Mozzarella and Meatball

Pizza Fact

More pizza is consumed during the week of the Super Bowl than any other time of the year.

The reviews

I often find that high expectations of any experience tend to dampen it, so I was worried about going to Franny’s, about which I’d heard so many raves.  Happily, I need not have worried — this pizza definitely lived up to its reputation.  The 10-to-12-inch pie was a nice size for sharing and we ordered two, though I was so hungry that initially I thought we should each order our own!  The thin, brick oven crust was wonderful — just charred enough for me and crisp around the edges, yet still tender and chewy throughout.  The toppings delivered on taste, yet were delicate enough to match the texture and flavor of the crust.  My favorite was the little meatballs, which tasted fresh and meaty without being overwhelming.  Along with our (tiny) starters, I felt satisfied afterward but not stuffed, as overly greasy or doughy pies can make you feel.  What I realized, however, is that I do think of pizza (as) a robust food, with vibrant colors, textures and tastes — so while I appreciated the subtlety here, I would have liked just a little more of everything: more sauce, more cheese, more herbs, and just more flavor overall.  It was definitely worth waiting for and I would go back in a heartbeat.  All I’d ask for from my compatriots next time is a gentle reminder that I might want to consider whether that second glass of Nero D’Avola would really be in my best interests!

Having been to Franny’s previously, my expectations were realistically optimistic. The excursion started out auspiciously…..we got a parking space right in front of the restaurant and our wait was shorter than first announced by the hostess. The appetizers were tasty but small and pricy. If we had understood the most basic Italian, we would have realized that our order of crostino was singular for crostini. Really, Franny’s….$5 (or maybe $6) for a slice of toast that was NOT topped with truffles, caviar or precious gems?  Fortunately, the pies were large enough to satisfy our appetites. While I enjoyed both pies, surprisingly (to me) I preferred the one topped with parmigiano reggiano since I’m usually a mozzarella type of gal. Franny’s pies are a little sparse on sauce and toppings but everything is so flavorful that each bite is a treat, including the delicious and perfectly-charred crust. It was a wonderful start to our year-long odyssey.

The service here is excellent, and in a busy pizza place, good service is especially important.I wasn’t crazy about the Lambrusco I ordered as it didn’t have the full body I’ve enjoyed when I’ve ordered the wine elsewhere.  I was not at all impressed with the crostino appetizer we ordered.  The pancetta was decent but the preparation wasn’t interesting, and, for the size, it was way overpriced.  I liked the Controne Bean Salad with Pancetta and Radicchio quite a bit and would have happily made a meal of it with a side green salad.  Now to the pizza!  For my taste, I found the crust just a wee bit too thin.  I could do without the charred taste, but it wasn’t a detractor for me.  Both pizzas were good, but I preferred the smoky flavor of the buffalo mozzarella over the tanginess of the cheese in the Parmigiano Reggiano pizza.  The paper thin slices of garlic on the Parmigiano Reggiano pie added a nice zing, but I think the mini meatballs won me over.  A slightly thicker crust would have made a big difference, but I liked that the balance of cheese and sauce meant I could actually taste everything on each slice.  And after dinner I had plenty of room for chocolate cake from a neighborhood place about a block away.


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