Lil’ Frankie’s

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By no means is Lil’ Frankie’s in the East Village new. They’ve been around making Neopolitan wood burning pizza and homemade pastas for years. But, this neighborhood gem also offers some delicious specials and dishes, and a super extensive wine list. So come hungry, thirsty, and hit up the ATM beforehand, since they’re cash-only. From the outside, you’d assume it was a small, intimate restaurant, but step inside, and work your way back through the winding passageways and there’s a back area, complete with a garden as well. 

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To start, I had their Stracciatella. It’s basically the center of buratta cheese, stuffed in a fresh tomato, and it’s so amazing. The cheese itself is rich, and super creamy, and pairing it with the firm and flavorful tomato atop olive oil and balsamic drizzle makes for a killer combination. 

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For my entree, I ordered one of their specials that night, Trout Almondino. This was so delicious, that I apologize in advance if it’s not a special when you’re there. The trout is filleted, and generously portioned, cooked to perfection, and topped with oil, lemon, beautiful herbs and spices, and sliced almonds. The fish is tender and so flavorful, and accompanied by a really nice, fresh spinach salad. I finished the whole thing, was full, but could have still found some room for more, it was that good.

The Shorts:
Name: Lil’ Frankie’s
Location: 19 First Avenue, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Definitely. It’s not my first time here, and it won’t be my last. With new specials always being turned out, you’re in for a treat whenever you make it in. 
Would I recommend it? Definitely. There really is something for everyone, especially if you’re a homemade pizza and pasta person. I also love one of their sister restaurants, Supper, so, check that out too. 

Vero Gelato Italiano

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One thing that really surprised me was how popular gelato is in Brazil. After visiting Vero in Ipanema, I started noticing more and more gelato shops around Rio and Sao Paulo.

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Come to find out, Vero is the only ice cream shop in Brazil to receive certification from the Accademia della Gelateria Italiana, so, I mean, I had to try it. They have a large selection of unique and delicious sounding/looking flavors, producing about 30 flavors freshly every day. 

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I had their Figo com Amendoas (fig and almonds). It was amazing. This place could easily stand with the best of them in NYC. The gelato itself was creamy, with the perfect consistency. Folded in are little pieces of chopped fig to go along with the fig and almond flavored gelato. 

The Shorts:
Name: Vero Gelato Italiano
Location: Rua Visconde de Pirajá, 260, Ipanema, Brazil 
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure. Hell, I have 29 other flavors that I need to get. 
Would I recommend it? Definitely. The quality is excellent, and with sorbets there as well, there’s certainly something for everyone.