Last Friday night, Justin and I declared a date night, and I let him pick the place. As usual, he did not disappoint me with his choice: Frankies Spuntino 570 on Hudson Street in New York City. Justin had been to their smaller other location, in Brooklyn, and had been meaning to return. Thankfully he opted to bring me along! We grabbed a 7:45 reservation a few days before the date (I highly recommend making one), and headed into Manhattan!
First, the menus:
To drink, I went with the Queen’s punch, and he did the Quick Think:
Both were great, we wound up doing two rounds of the same cocktails. Justin’s drinks lacked consistency – his second round did not arrive with the beautiful layering that you see in the above pictured glass on the right (his first round). Nonetheless, they were both completely delicious. The Queen’s Punch had a yummy mix of Ginger and elderflower (it gets me every time).
As always, deciding what to order was the most overwhelming part of the meal. Luckily I had their amazingly flavorful olive oil and fresh bread to get me through this difficult ordeal. The waiter was a pretty big help, too: super attentive throughout the meal, and that “just right” mix of helpful without being overbearing.
So we went with two crostinis (the chicken liver and the chickpea guanciale) and a plate of spicy capicola for our first course, the grilled octopus for our second course, and then the tagliatelle and gnocchi for our pasta main course with a side of radishes in anchovy dressing.
Ok, let’s be serious, we came here for the pasta. And it was on point. So incredibly fresh. The gnocchi (house-made gnocchi marinara with fresh ricotta) were the lightest little fluffy puff balls I’ve ever had. They melted in my mouth; I basically chewed them with my tongue. So amazing – not to be missed.
The tagliatelle (tagliatelle al ragu with oxtail, pork cheeks, and sausage) was equally delightful. The pasta was perfectly cooked, and the flavors, all mixed together with every bite, were completely satisfying.
As for the rest of the meal, we were not blown away, but were perfectly content. The octopus was beautiful, and cooked really well. We were a little worried about it being on the entree part of the menu, that maybe it would be too big as an appetizer, but it was the exactly what we were hoping for. I certainly do not recommend ordering this as an entree, or you’ll be left hungry. The crostinis were good, but we totally preferred the chicken liver one. It was a generous portion, and bursting with flavor. The chickpea and guanciale crostini seemed to lack some guanciale; it was there, but very subtle. I wanted more umph from this bite. The spicy capicola was very good, no complaints there. The radishes in the anchovy dressing were a little lackluster. If you’re going to say “with anchovy dressing” on the menu, then give me anchovy; it was – like the guanciale – a very subtle dish that left me wanting more flavor.
For dessert, we ordered the Maculan dessert wine (yummmm), the creme brûlée, and the red wine prunes with mascarpone:
Both were very good, but the prunes – so unusual and surprisingly amazing – are an absolute must have, on the same level as the olive oil/bread, chicken liver crostini, and pastas (especially the gnocchi). If you focus on these dishes, you are bound to have a nearly perfect meal. Friendly staff, great service, a reasonable price point, and good food with a few absolute stand outs earned Frankies Spuntino 570 a four start Baconboozer rating. It is definitely worth checking this spot out!