Speedy Romeo

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NYC and pizza. It’s either an over saturated market, or, just fulfilling demand. And, NYC is known, aside from Italy, of course, from doing it best (sorry, Chicago, keep your deep-dish, we’re focusing on NYC for now). So, it was time for me to check out Speedy Romeo on the Lower East Side, to see what they were turning out. 

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The LES location just opened this week, as their second. The first location is in Brooklyn, and named after the co-owner’s family’s prize race horse (he’s got a picture hung up on the wall and everything, and, yes, he’s very adorable). All the pizza is made in a hardwood fired Italian pizza oven. But before all that, had to start with a beverage. I had their Hot Trot (sparkling rose, aperol, smoked jalapeño rhubarb, lemon juice, soda, fresh basil). Now, aside from this pink beauty looking lovely, the taste was awesome. Upon first sips, it is a bit on the sweet side, but then you get the heat from the jalapeño, balancing it out for a nice sweet and spicy combination. 

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As an appetizer, I had the Grilled Octopus (Almond Romesco, Crispy Potato, Celery). Now, if you’re a regular here to SOF, you well know that I L-O-V-E grilled octopus. And, yeah, I’ve had some pretty awful dishes before. But, luckily for these guys, they absolutely pass the test here. This was so delicious. The octopus was perfectly done, nice and tender, but still maintaining that slight char on the outside, lending a smokiness. Potatoes, on point. Crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. But, let’s talk about this almond romesco real quick. Dear Speedy Romeo, Can you please bottle this up and send a vat of it to me so that I can pour it over everything? Thanks. The pepper and almond sauce is so savory and flavorful, with a really great texture, pairing wonderfully with the octopus, the potatoes, my fork…yeah. 

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For my entree, I ordered The Marinara (Tomato Sauce, Anchovy, Basil, Oregano, Sea Salt) and added Olives. Ok, so, I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a personal pizza or meant to share, but, I personally ordered it, so, it was all mine. However, I only got through a few slices, and boxed the rest up, which, only lasted until I got back home (it’s science, your stomach needs about an hour to make a new space available for left-over pizza). The pizza is thin, and a bit delicate, so, it could totally be the type you fork-and-knife. However, I went in and ate with my hands (I’m a beast). The ingredients and flavors are really fresh, I enjoyed the sweet and tanginess of the tomato sauce, and the added saltiness from the anchovy and added olives. The crust is really nice as well, with just enough chew from the delicately flavored dough, with just the right about of char along the dough’s baked air bubbles. 

The Shorts:
Name: Speedy Romeo
Location: 63 Clinton Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? For sure. The service was excellent, and the food was super tasty. And, their brunch menu will be rolling out, including a smoked salmon pizza, that has my name all over it. 
Would I recommend it? Yes. It’s the perfect spot for a really low-key meal with great flavors and enough options for everyone. 

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.