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Fausto

Italian Frannys space Park Slope Brooklyn Joey Campanale

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#1 Sneakeater

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 07:16 PM

Fausto is the replacement restaurant in the Franny's space on Flatbush Avenue in Park Slope.  It's run by Joey Campanale, formerly the wine guy from the dell'Anima group, and Erin Shambura, formerly the executive chef of that group's L'Artusi.  Needless to say, I closed the place down opening night.
 
Fausto is a solid neighborhood Italian spot.  I'd put it at about the level of dell'Anima (meaning it seems to me to be a bit better than L'Artusi).  The food is good.  Nothing startling, of course, just good and satisfying.  We started with an antipasto of shredded chicory with hard-cooked egg.  This is one of those dishes that turns out to be better than you think it will be:  the egg and the chicory combined into a flavor that was almost sumptuous.  Then, a primo of tagliatelle with lamb and a little bit of anchovy; anchovies turn out to liven up lamb just as they do beef.  Finally, our secondo, a braised pork shank (for two) with white beans, extremely satisfying.  This was all just the kind and quality of food you want from one of these places.  You feel better for having eaten it.
 
Yet, this is not, I must emphasize, a destination restaurant.  Like dell'Anima, it might be a tiny bit better than you'd expect at the neighborhood level -- but not better enough to travel for, and in no way distinctive.  It's the kind of place you eat out in because it's nearby.
 
So, it lacks the magic of Franny's.  Some would look at the menu at Fausto and think Fausto must be better, since it has secondi and doesn't have pizza.*  But Franny's was a statement restaurant, and this is just good rustic Italian food.  Surprisingly, the wine list, while very good by any standard, also lacks the Franny's magic.  Maybe it's a function of my having grown since Franny's opened, but I don't see myself learning from this list the way I did from Franny's list.  It's interesting that the Fausto list (unlike Franny's) is not limited to Italy.
 
None of this is knocking Fausto.  I liked it.  I think, among other things, that although it isn't as "interesting" as nearby Faun, Fausto's food is appreciably better.  (For one thing, unlike at Faun, the secondi at Fausto are actually good.)  I'm happy to have it nearby (although I'll always miss Franny's).  It just is what it is. But for what it is, its good, very good.
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* NB:  the Franny's ovens are used here for roasting and braising.  There is no pizza.


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#2 AaronS

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 10:11 PM

I read the menu on the website yesterday and said sneak is going to have to really, really like this place for me to go.

#3 Sneakeater

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 10:43 PM

I'd say I liked it, maybe really liked it -- but nothing like really, really.


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#4 Steve R.

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 03:11 AM

Faun? (Not Fauna).

This space available… contact owner.


#5 Sneakeater

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 04:50 AM

OOOOOOOOPS.

 

(Fixed.  Thanks.)


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#6 Daniel

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 05:11 PM

We went last night and I must say, the orecchiette was phenomenal.  We had many things on the menu and I am going back this Wednesday.. But, yeh, the orecchiette was the best I have ever had.. It was more shaped like little conquistador helmets.. the sauce was very simple, i would think butter and pork stock and the tiniest bit of potatoes.. I love this dish and will eat it on Wednesday.. 

 

But yeh, so far so good, wine list is of course great..  


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#7 voyager

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 01:10 AM

...the orecchiette was the best I have ever had....the sauce was very simple, i would think butter and pork stock and the tiniest bit of potatoes....

 

Will do.


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#8 Wilfrid

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 11:24 PM

Should I have gone to Franny's?

#9 Sneakeater

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 11:50 PM

YES


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#10 joethefoodie

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 01:50 AM

One quote:

 

Surprisingly, the wine list, while very good by any standard, also lacks the Franny's magic

 

And another (sic):

 

But yeh, so far so good, wine list is of course great..  

 

What are we, the general public, supposed to think...



#11 Sneakeater

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 02:14 AM

I think you can reconcile them this way:  the wine list is great inasmuch as it's as good as any winelist at a place specializing in natural wines could be.  But it's all the usual suspects.  Unlike Franny's which, by going deep into one geographical area, had the ability to keep surprising you, to keep introducing you to things you didn't already know.

 

For example, I don't think the Fausto list is going to do anything like break Paolo Bea in New York, as the Franny's list did.


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#12 Sneakeater

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 02:17 AM

(Of course, Franny's had it easier in that, when they started, there weren't tons of natural wine places in New York City.*)

 

__________________________________________________________________

* This is a chance for me to put on my Grumpy Old Man Hat, as I like to do.  I was in a natural wine shop recently and the young salesperson recommended an Occhipinti to me.  I told him that I find it hard to buy them now that Arianna's raised her prices so.  He told me he didn't know what I was talking about:  Arianna's charging about the same now as she did four or five years ago.  "I'm not talking about four or five years ago," I said.  "I'm talking about nine or 10 years ago."  "Oh come on," the salesperson said.  "She wasn't making wine 10 years ago."  Why don't young people know ANYTHING?  (Other than tech.)


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#13 joethefoodie

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 12:03 PM

Or, why don't they (and not just they, but everyone) say something along the lines of, "I didn't know that..."? 



#14 Daniel

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 03:22 PM

One quote:

 

Surprisingly, the wine list, while very good by any standard, also lacks the Franny's magic

 

And another (sic):

 

But yeh, so far so good, wine list is of course great..  

 

What are we, the general public, supposed to think...

 

where are these quotes from?


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#15 GerryOlds

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Posted 15 December 2017 - 03:28 PM

One's Sneak and the other...is YOU!







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