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Franny's: Pizza in Park Slope

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NY Metro has a piece this week about Franny's in Park Slope, which they describe as OTTO, but in the pizzeria world. The writers suggest this is one of the great pizzerias in NY, not just in Brooklyn.

 

Pizza made with home cured sausage, grass fed beef from Maine, organic cheeses, aromatic herbs. It's a lyrical description, has anybody been there yet, or reported on it?

 

Franny's

 

Franny's

295 Flatbush Avenue

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On Sunday, I tagged along with a friend doing pre-production for a Food Net DVD box set. We went to Franny's and had a nice chat with the owners, Andrew and Franny. Unfortunately, I didn't get to sample any food. Saturday night had been super busy. They served 160 heads in their 40 seat dining room with just 3 chefs/cooks. Biz has been so overwhelmning that they needed to close Sunday - catch up and deal with hiring extra staff. A garden with an extra 25 seats is set to open shortly.

 

Few interesting tidbits...

 

The current menu looks great. Pizzas had seasonal ingredients including Stinging Nettles and Ramps. As most of you have read, their first priority is to buy from local farmers. Franny has been an activist in sustainable agriculture for years and Andrew went to French Culinary Institute, had stints on farms, made stinky cheese in Massachusettes and cooked at Savoy (amongst other places)...in other words, theyre legit, its not just gimicky schtick.

 

Brick oven was built by a 3rd gen Neapolitan artisan who resides in Bklyn. Oven gets up to about 800 degrees and takes about 2 minutes to cook a pie. Metal work on the bar was done by Franny's best friend.

 

Their staff and patrons have complained Franny's milk is curdled. Reality is that its non-homogenized milk from a farm in upstate NY. They layer of cream that rises to the top has been the source of mucho confusion.

 

Mozz comes from Omni's fave, Lioni Latticini. They have a wholesale opp (or distribution center?) in NJ.

 

Andrew makes and cures all of their meat downstairs (with the exception of the Prosciutto). They built a temperature/humidity controlled Redwood Curing Room in the basement. I checked it out, very cool.

 

Franny runs the front of the house and is a plethora of information. Andrew is the intense chef who gives off that soft-spoken perfectionist's vibe. Anyway, I was very impressed and am looking forward to sampling the goods. Has anyone eaten there yet?

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I went to Franny's for my first time last Saturday. There were four of us, and we arrived a few minutes before they officially open at 5:30. We were happy to take a seat in the garden out back and have a drink. My gimlet (though small) went down oh-so-easily. The fresh lime juice and mint made it taste more like limeade than a gimlet...I really didn't mind!

 

After a round of drinks we went inside for an early dinner, to allow time to hit the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory around sunset. We ordered the crostini sampler (two orders), four pizzas, and some Arrogant Bastard Ale.

 

The crostini included a fava and pecorino topping (light, balanced, really fresh); an herb butter with dried tuna flecks (yum); and a lemony caponata (eh). These toppings each arrived on a thin piece of decent baguette that would have benefited from another few seconds of toasting or broiling or...something. It was a little too chewy. I should also note that the serving was sparse. We thought that two of us would be able to share one portion each of the crostini sampler. This turned out to be true, but it only allowed for a taste.

 

The main event at this place is the pizza, and the brick oven they built in the back is beautiful. We ordered a pepperoni (house-cured, as we were reminded both on the menu and by our overly earnest waitress - more on this below); a green garlic pesto, ricotta, and mozzarella; a mushroom and herb; and a tomato, garlic, olive, and chili pie.

 

I was hoping to fall in love with the pepperoni (practically its own food group in my little world), and it was good as a topping, but it didn't blow me away. I liked how the thumbnail-sized rounds were nicely crisped atop the cheese on the pie. The pepperoni itself, however, just wasn't that special when I sampled a few slices. Maybe not enough salt in it? It was fairly bland. I hope the recipe will evolve over time. For now, it serves its pizza-topping purpose well enough.

 

The pesto, ricotta, and mozz. pizza was terrific. The pesto was kicky and tasted like spring to me, and was well complemented by the creamy ricotta. The mushroom and herb was another winner. Mostly shitakes and portabellas, and a blend of what seemed like basil, oregano, parsley, garlic, and perhaps shallot.

 

The crust was good. It was thick enough to support the toppings, and thin enough to still be crisp. Decent flavor, though I think this is another creation that would benefit from a slightly heavier dose of salt.

 

The sustainable agriculture Gospel at Franny's is perhaps a bit over-the-top for this believer. The menu lists the precise provenance of many of the ingredients, and the waitress reminded us that the chef gets his herbs from a farm upstate, the pepperoni is cured in-house, and so on. I appreciate that the owners are legit, but rather than seem like a source of pride, the list of products and their origins on the menu did actually strike me gimmicky. Anyway, the extra information certainly didn't detract from our enjoyment of what was an above-average meal, it just didn't add to it.

 

So, overall, thumbs-up. Especially with delicious alcoholic limeade being served in a garden a few blocks from home, I can see spending some quality time at Franny's in the warm months ahead.

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slkinsey posted some absolutely mouth-watering photos from Franny's this morning on eG. I almost fell of my chair.

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MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Very quick report: Even this non-pizza lover liked Franny's. The clam pie was especially good with a very pleasing hit of chili heat.

 

The frito, zucchini was so good that we considered ordering another plate for dessert.

 

And so what if you want to punch your Actor!/waitress in her pretentious stomach??

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I thought the food was really good. Everything. Delicious. And I like the small-ish, well-chosen, well-priced wine list very much.

 

I hated hated the service and the little attitude there in general I could live without.

 

We couldn't really understand how they could have already been out of 2 things when they had opened about 90 minutes before we got there, and the menu was printed that day. Hmm.

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