Monday, October 6, 2008
Keeping with Bronx Italians, I bring you Frankie & Johnnie's Pine on Bronxdale Ave. A favorite for years, they went from being a cozy little spot to owning the entire block. To be honest with you, this meal was supposed to be at Zero Otto Nove, but they were on vacation.
One of my favorite dishes is served at F&J as shown above. I rarely order the same meal at restaurants, but this is the exception. At times I crave for it. And it never lets me down. A simple dish, cavatelli country style. Cavatelli served with bits of sausage, broccoli, and cannellini beans in an oil, garlic and basil sauce. The pasta with the beans and broccoli are relatively subtle, but it's the sausage that brings the flavor. The cavatelli is cooked perfectly al dente providing that nice chew. I think I prefer smaller pastas like this and farfalle as they're easier to eat. Each bite should have a little of everything and you're in business.
I don't think there's anything else to say.
For larger parties F&J is a great spot. There are several dining rooms, with additional party rooms, and this year they offered outdoor seating, which we took advantage of. The portions are HUGE, almost always requiring a doggie bag and extremely affordable. Holla at cha doggie.
For starters we opted for the cold seafood cocktail for 2 and the fried calamari. Chilled lobster tails, shrimp, scallops, king crab legs, clams and mussels for 22 beans. I'm pretty cautious when it comes to seafood, but it all appeared to be fresh, and lacked any fishyness. The calamari was good as usual.
The other entrees were gemelli di casa which included grilled chicken, rock shrimp, garlic and basil with plum tomato and baby arugula. Definitely enjoyable, but nothing compared to my cavatelli.
Pine Style Paella for 2 consisting of chicken, sausage, shrimp, crab legs, mussels, clams, langostines, and broccoli served over saffron rice. Personally, I'd go for Zuppa De Pesce at an Italian, but Latin couples do as Latin couples do. Kidding aside it was up to par, and served as my dinner for the next couple of days.
The final dish was a special of skirt steak served with sausage and a vegetable risotto. Steak was cooked well, but this isn't my kind of dish. Also, the sausage was a bit OD.
I'll keep coming back, and I'll keep ordering the same dish. The menu is long and there are tons of things I haven't tried, though I've never heard any complaints about any meal. Most pasta dishes are around $15 and entrees rarely exceed $20, with several exceptions. The bar always has cold Peronis to be cracked open, and all the baseball paraphernalia throughout the place makes the wait less painful. And you can't forget the Sopranos poster over the fireplace in the bar. I know, I know. Capiche?
Click on the menu to here some Frank.
1913 Bronxdale Ave. betw. Matthews and Muliner Ave.
Bronx, NY 10462
Open 7 days a week 11 am - Midnight