88 2nd Avenue,
Phone: (212) 420-0202
This East Village Italian never gets old, which is why it’s always buzzing with diners, hungry for their juicy Meatloaf, Fresh Gnocchi or Mussels Marinara. They don’t take reservations, but you can linger at the bar while you wait for your table. As soon as you grab a table, grab a glass of well-priced Italian wine and the gorgeously buttery, imported Burrata, still one of the best in the city, with sliced tomatoes. The dining room’s cramped, but the Rigatoni Ragu, Zucchini Soup, Grilled Branzino and Pureed Fava with dandelion and Roasted Vegetables make it all worthwhile. They don’t take credit cards either, so bring cash. And don’t bother with dessert. You’ll be too full to even attempt it with the portions they’re doling out at Frank’s.
Don’t Miss Dish: Meatloaf, gnocchi, pureed fava beans, & steamed mussels.
End With: Desserts aren’t a must, but there’s lots of bakeries in the neighborhood to pop in post-dinner.
Drink This: Italian wines
Occasion: Casual bite or Sunday night supper.
Bonuses: Big table you can reserve for birthdays.