So remember when Buzzfeed made that list of must-eat New York City winter foods a few months ago? Like way back in December when it was actually winter? Well, I visited a couple of those places while it was still cold, but I JUST made it to Frankies Spuntino to try their cavatelli pasta a few weeks ago. Yeah, it took me nine months and I went in the summertime, but it still counts that I made it there right?! Dude…good food is good food.
Frankies Spuntino is named after the owners, Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli and “spuntino,” a noun that means “an informal meal or a snack; also, a casual Italian eatery.” The restaurant offers uncomplicated food, made with fresh, healthy ingredients from purveyors whom they have a close, old-school relationship with.
Frankies has salads, soups, sandwiches, specials (like roasted chicken, grilled branzino, and eggplant parmigiana), pasta, and various antipasti, cured meats, and cheeses. We started with Frankies Antipasto which is the chef’s choice of meats, cheese, veggies, and olives. The platter had roasted carrots and cauliflower, a few olives, two kinds of cheeses, and two kinds of meats. While I felt like the accompaniments to the meats and cheeses were a little lacking, it was okay because every table gets a basket of crusty bread that the waiter is happy to refill.
We also ordered some of their famous crostini to start. I had one of the mushroom and truffle oil and one of the ricotta, honey, and provolone. The other, green crostini in the front of the photo is my friend’s kale and harissa aioli one. At $4 a piece, the crostini are a bit pricey, but we felt like going all out and having a nice meal. The ratio of crostini to topping is definitely not balanced as they’re HEAVILY topped on a pretty thin, crisp base. But, that’s nice because you get a lot of the good stuff rather than all bread.
For my main, I ordered the cavatelli with sage butter and spicy sausage, which yes, was what was mentioned on Buzzfeed’s list. The portion is big, especially if you order any starters. While I can see how this is a winter meal with the rich butter and hearty sausage, it was still a nice, filling dish for a Friday night in September. Hey, now that it’s actually getting cold again you’ll probably enjoy it even more if you get it now!
Frankies Spuntino is really straddling the line between casual dining and a nice meal out. The food is homey and heartwarming, but still feels slightly elevated (which is good because the prices are). I’ve heard that it gets quite packed at night, but we ate at 5:30 pm before it got crowded and then headed across the street to the historic White Horse Tavern, which used to be frequented by famous literary figures like Dylan Thomas. Random sidenote: I’ve heard that Jimmy Fallon is obsessed with their meatballs here. Must verify…
Frankies antipasto; crostini; cavatelli, sage butter, and spicy sausage
570 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014