Sunday, April 26, 2009

Franny's is Good

Franny's Pizza opened in 2004, on the cusp of Park Slope and Prospect Heights, not far from where I live, and I finally got there in 2009. Over the years I've seen the reports, which ranged from superlatives, like New York Magazine's over-the-top kvellfest, to the disgruntled locals and foodies who dismissed it as overpriced, overrated designer pizza.

Franny's makes thin crust Neapolitan-pizzas, but chef/owner Andrew Feinberg is not a hidebound traditionalist. He's happy to innovate topping combinations, but prefers to keep them simple:

“I believe that if a dish has 3 perfect ingredients then it doesn’t need anything else. The menu at franny’s is based on leaving out that ‘extra’ ingredient rather than putting it in,” says Andrew. “I want people to taste the purity of each ingredient in every dish,” he says. He adds, “everything that I cook has got to be true to where it comes from.” - from the Franny's website.

So, what would be my verdict? Surely it couldn't live up to the New York magazine review. But would it be as totally overrated as Una Pizza Napoletana, which led to a pissed-off rant here, last year?

The verdict: Franny's is good. Franny's is very good. The crust is thin, with a pleasant chewiness, and the slightly nutty flavor of the wheat flour shines through. It's evident that the ingredients are top-notch and the preparation wholly attentive.

When testing a pizzeria for the first time I always have to try one with mozzarella and tomato sauce, since that's the best benchmark. This time we went for the Buffalo mozzarella, tomato and meatballs pie, dotted with small meatballs. It was quite good, and at $17 for a 12" pie, though not cheap, it's about $4 cheaper than the decidedly inferior product at Una Pizza Napoletana (which offers no meat toppings) and I didn't feel ripped off.

Luckily I went with a confederate, so I got to try two different pies. Boy was I lucky. The clams, chiles and parsley pizza was one of the culinary highlights of this year. I can't quite figure out what kind of alchemy went into this wonder. It wasn't smothered in clams, like the clam pie at Lombardi's, or even liberally covered with clams like the clam pie at clam pie originator Pepe's of New Haven. The clams were scattered here and there, yet the entire pie, every bite, had the most intense fresh clam flavor. Could they have done something with the juice of the clams? The way the clam flavor married with the perfectly subtle chile component and the chlorophyl character of the parsley was mind-boggling.

That clam pizza is totally deserving of an over-the-top kvellfest.

295 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11217
718 230 0221


Anonymous Jimmy Cantiello said...

Oy, now you're tellin' me I gotta go to Franny's as well as DiFara's?

Apparently my work's cut out for me. I'm feeling the pressure.

8:08 PM  

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