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. 

Cantina Nipolitana

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Italian food in Sao Paulo? Sure, why not. But, you can expect it to have a bit of a Brazilian flare. Bratalian? Whatever you call it, it’s going to be delicious if you’re getting it from Cantina Nipolitana in Jardins, São Paulo. 

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Inside, you feel like you’re really in a family run Italian restaurant. No flare, no frills, just simplicity with a focus on the food. To start, the servers will walk around offering a Bread Basket with olives, tapenade, and eggplant. It’s optional, since they charge for this, it’s not complimentary. But, I highly suggest you get it. It’s only a few dollars per person, and well worth it. The tapenade and eggplant are especially delicious and the bread is light and pillowy. 

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For my drink, I ordered a Caipirinha Pinga Especial ou de Pisco (cachaca, lime, Pisco). This drink was awesome. You start to feel a buzz after a few sips. That’s how you know it’s good, right? Caipirinhas are very traditional, but one with Pisco was extra special. 

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For my entree, I ordered the Truta com legumes (trout, mixed vegetables, rice, Nipolitana potatoes). This dish was amazing. They filleted the fish right in front of me, which, is always great. It was so tender and light, it was some of the best trout, if not fish in general, that I’ve had in a while. The veggies were nice, they’re served this way as a standard mixed vegetable in Brazil. The potatoes were pretty special here too, they reminded me almost of a hush puppy, crispy, yet light on the outside and creamy on the inside. 

The Shorts:
Name: Cantina Nipolitana
Location: Alameda Campinas, 680 – Jardins, São Paulo, Brazil
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Absolutely. Everything here was delicious, drink included.
Would I recommend it? For sure. They have an array of dishes, something for everyone. You won’t be disappointed.