Monday, October 6, 2008

Pardon My French But Let Me Speak Italian Vol. 2... F&J Pine in Bronxdale.

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.

F&J Pine
1913 Bronxdale Ave. betw. Matthews and Muliner Ave.
Bronx, NY 10462

Open 7 days a week 11 am - Midnight


thekid10705 said...

I love the Peroni's laying on the table in the background!!Welcome back cuz'!!!

HowFresh said...

All day fam. I hope you're not getting all restaurant Toll Gate sentimental on here.

buckemdown said...

F&Js definitely works - but with 089 in the game now, it's gonna be tough to justify going there. I guess the fact that it can better accomodate a larger party may be a reason, but on the food front Roberto is stealing the show. F&Js is a Bronx institution though, so I'm sure it'll do fine. Prices are probably a bit lower too.

thekid10705 said...

Fresh, maybe just a lil' bit!1 You know when you're in the business you have a whole lot of contact, the 2 mentioned here were mine, so yeah, it brings back some memories..

But no more restauarant, it's back to the basics..Hip hop and hoops!!!

R. said...

Big Howie,
I'm waiting for the day when this blog has you eating for free in spots. That will be what's good.

thekid10705 said...

Oh by the way , how the fuck did I forget!!Fresh, maybe on of the best title's in blogging history!!
A hip hop quotable to describe Arthur ave in the Boogie!! You are way ahead of the curve, pal!!

HowFresh said...

Good looks dude. Got to give Buckshot some production credit on that one. Not only is he a husband and a father, but a fucking creative co-blogger.

Rodney- I once got a free pastrami sandwich from Katz. Does that count? Believe me dude, I hope you eat swine by then.

reals316 said...

I believe it s all cash there right?don t make the same mistake i did a couple years ago and have to walk to the atm machine 10 blocks away in the freezing cold

HowFresh said...

Reals- they accept credit cards. With the operation they have going on they'd be foolish not to. The place has expanded exponentially over the years so it was possible back then.

I'm all about those Skymiles anyway.