|Sweet potato raviolis|
Frankies Sputino 457 is the most casual of the growing empire of restaurants owned by the Franks (Castronovo and Falcinelli). Yet it is more than simply a casual Italian restaurant – its quirky (some might say a tad confusing) menu reads like a grocery list of fresh greens, italian meats, cheeses, pastas, and sandwiches from which the diners must figure out how to construct a meal — or just a nosh. It’s easier to figure out the menu while sipping on one of their inventive (though a little small) cocktails, like “The Last Mosquito” ($10) made with rye, branca menta (a minty liquor), punt e mes (an Italian vermouth), and lemon juice.
|Cured Meats Plate|
The quality of their ingredients are all top-notch. For starters, their cured meats plate ($15) which has thinly sliced prosciutto di parma, spicy and sweet, soppressata, and capicola. The proscuitto really stands out, it is delicate and not too salty.
The crostinis are also a good touch, especially the cremini mushroom and truffle oil ($4). It has just enough truffle oil without being overpowering and some parmesan on top for balance. The crostinis are also nicely crunchy. The homemade ricotta with speck ($4.50) was also good, though not quite as complex as the mushrooms.
Another notable appetizer is the shaved brussels sprouts with lemon & castelrosso (a creamy Italian cheese) ($9). Brussels sprouts continue to be all the rage and this dish is an interesting variety. The sprouts are raw and crisp, though I felt they could use more acid.
From here, a meal could go in many different directions. However, a meal shouldn’t miss one
of the Franks’ homemade pastas, particularly the fresh cavatelli with hot sausage and browned sage butter ($18). Browned butter with sage is a common accompaniment to pasta, and this preparation doesn’t overdo it with the sage, which can be too bitter, and it nicely compliments the spicy sausages. The sweet potato & sage ravioli in parmesan broth ($16) was another solid (and sage-y) dish, though I felt the sweet potato filling was little too sweet. The raviolis are large and half-moon shaped, and actually look more like dumplings than traditional raviolis. The broth is savory and excellent.
457 has long been a neighborhood gem, and with the Franks entering Manhattan it’s good to see that this location retains its charm and solid food with decent prices. Nothing is over $20 — though each course can add up and dinner with one drink can be around $40. The soft lighting and exposed brick walls makes 457 good for dates — or double dates!
Frankies Sputino 457
457 Court Street
Brooklyn NY 11231
(718) 403-0033 (No reservations)