frankies 457 has become a bit of a habit for us, so it’s maybe not quite as special to us as it might be otherwise — or maybe we just take the quality there for granted, which we definitely shouldn’t. we probably come here once a month. we come early, sit outside if it’s nice (and that backyard is the best though i’m not so thrilled with the recent tent addition but maybe that will go) and we just relax. the kids are obsessed with the frankie’s house-made cavatelli pasta with butter. no, it’s not on their menu, but they’ll happily make it, and now when the kids get promised cavatelli elsewhere (like what happened to us at north fork table and inn, they were hugely disappointed if that’s not the kind of pasta delivered). don’t ask me why they have fixated on this but i guess it’s just a huge step up from the usual noodles and cheese at home.
and even as the frankies empire is expanding at maybe a too rapid clip (i’ve written up prime meats, and have been checking out fort defiance, which i’m loving, and cafe pedlar, which has not been as impressive) the food and service at frankies 457 continues to be excellent. i have never had a bad pasta dish and the service is also always impeccable. we almost always get an order of the beefy, meatballs with pine nuts and raisins, and follow that with some kind of pasta. if i’m in a heavier kind of mood i like the cavatelli with faiccos hot sausage and browned sage butter, and for something lighter their linguini often has a rotating range of toppings like fava beans and toasted breadcrumbs, spicy crab or the regular clams. we often get a side or two at frankies. the veggies are always super fresh and seasonal, and lightly dressed with something delicious. the roasted beets with an avocado balsamic vinegar is a favorite, and i like ordering it throughout the year to see how the beets’ flavors are changing. they were particularly sweet a few weeks ago.
more recently, when my office moved to gowanus, we’ve been coming to frankies for celebratory lunches, and that is also great. they have the regular menu plus a bunch of tasty sandwiches including a blt, a sausage and broccoli rabe, and an eggplant marinara with mozzarella. now if only they would deliver i would have the perfect work location. at this point, i have eaten my way through the entire menu, and i think i just keep coming back to the gnocchi which might be my favorite item. the gnocchi are so light and fluffy, and then this grat tomato sauce is topped with ethereal ricotta. they also have a strong, not outrageous, wine list, and in general the food costs are quite reasonable. just remember it’s cash only and it does get busy. frankies 457, 457 court street between luquer street and 4th place, brooklyn, new york, 718.403.0033.