One of Brooklyn's favorite restaurants has a new address. Franny's recently reopened just a few blocks down Flatbush Avenue from its original location, which the owners apparently gave up to make way for a new Italian concept that they're working on. We decided a new review was in order, because even though the new restaurant is almost exactly the same as the old one, we posted that original write up so long ago that we were probably making Lost references and taking photos with a Blackberry. It was time for an update.
We've heard some people referring to this new Franny's as "Franny's 2.0," but as far as we can tell it's really something closer to version 1.2.1. What I think that means is that this is a not an entirely new update of the restaurant with significant improvements, but is instead more of a refresh. Even though it's in a new building, this is essentially the same place with some slightly different features. The menu is identical, and the vibe inside is pretty much the same too - it's like Roberta's for people who have adult children. As a matter of fact, the only thing that actually seems to have changed is the fact that they no longer have a back patio and now have a private room downstairs - a net loss in our opinion. Private parties are probably great for business, but a nice outdoor area is hard to come by. This new location also has about twice as many seats as the old one, but that doesn't mean you're going to sit down any sooner. Plan to wait 45 minutes for a table during peak hours.
Overall though, the food at Franny's is still as good as it's always been, and that's what will keep people (including us) coming back. The wood burning ovens still crank out the same excellent pizzas, and the menu still features those great pastas and seasonal ingredients. I suppose it's nice to know that some things never change, even though everything is always changing.
There is always a rotating selection of crostini at Franny's and they're all usually pretty good. Toasted bread is topped with varying things depending on the season, like house made cheese, vegetables, and the occasional cured meat. Get a few orders and sample.Leeks with Pine Nuts, Chilies and Bottarga di Muggine
People really seem to like these leeks, so we pounced on them when we saw that they were available on a recent visit. We liked the flavor from the chilies and the bottarga, but the leeks themselves were a little bit mushy for our taste. Kind of like an overcooked asparagus.Bucatini
The bucatini here will always be served with different sauces and accompaniments, but you need to order it no matter what it comes with. This is one of the best pastas on the Franny's menu.Cavatelli
Another solid pasta no matter what it's being served with. On our last visit it came tossed with broccoli rabe and chilies, and it was glorious.Clam Pizza
This pie is a fixture on the Franny's menu, and is by far the best thing in the house. It's basically just some clams on crust with chilies and parsley, and it's phenomenal.Tomato, Basil and Buffalo Mozzarella Pizza
Simple and excellent, thanks to some high quality buffalo mozz. I could eat an entire one of these things in about six seconds.Flowering Greens Pizza
Our vegetarian friend got one of these "flowering greens" pizza, which to our surprise contained no actual flowers. It was solid, though the seasoning seemed to lean heavy on the acid. Maybe that's what killed the flowers.