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Frankie’s Italian replaces Lil’ Baci, run by the same team, producing fresh pasta and pizza.
When it came time to renew the 10-year lease on the space, it was time for an update complete with the incorporation of rotating house pasta and burrata specials that have enjoyed popularity at the team’s other restaurant Annabelle.
Funky wallpaper, subway tile, additions to the marble bar and redone flooring have freshened up the high-ceilinged space.
Pasta carbonara with a poached egg ($15) has a deserving spot on the weekend brunch menu, along with meatball and pizza dishes with eggs. The noodles are the perfect slurpable thickness, very fresh and exquisitely al dente.
It’s a great rendition of a classic carbonara with thick squares of smoky, salty bacon, creamy cheese and spicy black pepper, the egg excellently poached and running over everything, providing a rich sauciness.
A Tuscan white bean and kale bowl ($14) is very hearty and good value with a ton of protein-packed beans and a decent amount of crumbled fennel sausage and nicely cooked down kale (this is how you have kale for breakfast). Two poached eggs on top make this borderline gut-busting for such a compact dish.
Shrimp and polpo ($15) is a dish of sous-vide octopus seared with potatoes and deglazed with lemon, mingling with house pepperoncini hot sauce and meaty olives, all topped with a couple smoky, juicy charred shrimp.
The day’s special pizza is pear, prosciutto and gorgonzola ($15), again a classic combination: creamy cheese, salty meat, and crisp, sweet pear. The crust is soft and delicate yet holds the minimal ingredients, with bubbly but firm edges.
They’ve had the same mother dough for 10 years here, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the pizza has stayed the same. The pizzas here have evolved to become a little thinner, crispier, and more personal size.
The Annabelle caesar ($12) pays homage to the team’s Davenport restaurant, made with house lemon vodka, lemon juice, Clamato, tabasco, and cracked pepper for a bright and spicy brunch drink that doesn’t stray far from the classic.
A $13 negroni menu just like Annabelle’s puts twists on the Italian iconic cocktail like an elderflower version with St. Germaine, house lemon sage gin, a strong hit of Campari and sage, all garnished with lemon zest and a flower.
Not only have some of Annabelle’s successes been incorporated here, but its next door sibling Bob Coffee Bar as well.
An espresso machine is front and centre at Frankie’s, turning out cortados, lattes, cappuccinos and Bob-style “badass” hot cocoas.
There are also the same Petit Thuet pastries as at Bob like blueberry muffins, croissants and cookies for quick on-the-go snacking or even brunch dessert.