Way back when the weather was warm but not humid, my parents came up to visit while house hunting. They asked me, as they often do, to pick a place to eat lunch. Sometimes this request fills me with anxiety, but not this time; I knew exactly where I wanted to eat.
Franny’s had been on my radar for a long time, but somehow I never managed to get there. I thought lunch would be the perfect time to go, as I’d heard stories about the crowds and the waits. We arrived just as the restaurant opened, and it was so nice out that we took a seat in the back garden.
As you may know, I’m a sucker for anything with artichokes. I convinced my parents that we should start with this artichoke crostini appetizer. My first thought: they have a heavy hand with the salt at Franny’s. Not that that’s a bad thing; my number one complaint at most restaurants is that they often don’t use enough salt. The artichokes were nice and soft, and the bread was good and crunchy. Next it was on to the pizzas.
They have a changing roster of pizzas based on the seasons, but I (of course) ordered Franny’s version of the margherita — tomato, basil, and buffalo mozzarella. Again I was struck by the saltiness, but the pizza was excellent — beautifully charred crust, but nice and flexible and chewy. I was in pizza heaven.
Our server explained to us that the menu descriptions are literal — if sauce or cheese isn’t listed with the ingredients, it wasn’t on the pizza. Maybe they get complaints, I don’t know. My mom ordered this tomato, olive, garlic, and oregano pizza (note the absence of cheese), which was quite good. Again, the crust was perfect, though with the olives there was a bit too much salt.
My dad got this seasonal pizza, with young broccoli, garlic, chiles, and some kind of cheese (note the absence of sauce). This was really good, with a great balance of fresh ingredients.
Sure, as we ate the back garden filled up with families, and the kids were loud, but with pizza this good I’m willing to put up with a lot. Now that UPN is closed, Franny’s is in serious contention for my favorite Neapolitan pizza place in NYC.
Franny’s — 295 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn