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 Restaurants
Week of June 3, 2002
 

the underground gourmet
Supper Time
It's no surprise that Supper, the new East Village osteria, is an instant word-of-mouth hit: The man behind the restaurant (and the stove), wearing a T-shirt that reads the big meatball and dodging three-foot flames, is local hero Frank Prisinzano, chef-owner of the perpetually packed Italian-American Frank and its five-month-old spinoff, Lil' Frankie's. A victim of his own success, Prisinzano was practically forced by fundamentalist Frank fans into opening the third link in his East Village empire, which specializes in northern-style cucina. "I'm totally in love with Italian cooking -- southern Italian, northern Italian," says the polpette kingpin. "But I can't change anything on Frank's menu or it becomes a big uproar, like 'Whaddya mean you don't have that?' " So in order to indulge his appetite for Venetian calf's liver, bollito misto, and bagna cauda, Prisinzano renovated an Alphabet City office, furnishing it with a weathered tile floor, rough wooden communal tables, a bustling open kitchen, funky old-lady light fixtures, and mismatched floral-pattern plates that evoke Sunday supper at Grandma's house. "I want the place to have the feeling of home," he says. The real attraction, though, is simple, well-executed, traditional dishes like garlic-rubbed bruschetta drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt; an herby minestrone Genovese; perfectly thin veal Milanese with an irresistible golden-brown bread-crumb crust; a luscious Piedmontese disc of chocolate-hazelnut custard with fresh berries, all at familiar Frank prices. Although a pasta or two might be on the far side of al dente, no one's perfect -- not even Grandma.— ROB PATRONITE
Supper
156 East 2nd Street
212-477-7600

 

best of the week
Blue Crab Festival on June 8 and 9
Park Slope's Minnow is throwing its first annual Blue Crab Festival, inspired by old-fashioned crab boils: There'll be plenty of claws, backfin, and other kinds of sea creatures (including fresh blue crabs boiled in beer).
The Minnow
442 Ninth Street
718-832-5500

 

takeout
Move Over Good Humor
If the Good Humor truck doesn't jingle-jangle its way down your block this summer, you might try your neighborhood Godiva shop. Chocolate Eclair bars and King Cones have nothing on the chocolate giant's new $3.50 ice-cream bar, a superrich concoction of swirly caramel-laced ice cream in a pecan-sprinkled milk-chocolate shell. You won't even miss the tinny strains of "The Entertainer." (Available at most Godiva boutiques throughout Manhattan.)


Ask Gael
Where are you feeling a greenhouse effect?
I'm betting that the low, lean, and sexy intimacy of Jimmy's Downtown will lure heat-seeking grown-ups on the prowl to this unlikely eastern shoal of 57th Street. Especially if there's hope of a welcoming hug from Jimmy's Bronx Café's matinee-idol host, Jimmy Rodriguez. Slither through the crowd in the all-white, candlelit bar and lounge with slashes of red and a tsunami of discreetly silent tellys. Settle into a booth out back where amiable sally-league servers lyricize over yuca-crusted scallops, the fine fried-artichoke salad, a huge and juicy pork chop, and luscious grilled sturgeon on creamy avocado mash. Early on, the kitchen was still uneven, but executive chef Linda Japngie is hopeful, having snagged a new hand from her Bouley days. So if the tamarind-lobster resists the knife (a tad too tough, but what a delicious brine), eat it with your fingers, or settle for the crispy soft-shell crab in a tomato-caper stew. And don't leave without indulging in lush coconut flan.
Jimmy Downtown
400 East 57th Street
212-486-6400

Bites & Buzz Archive

Week of May 27
A (blue) lobsterfest; Restaurant 222's $20 prix-fixe; summer restaurant week begins; Citymeals-on-Wheels salute; will Butter make Gael phat?
Week of May 20
Ice ice baby; Jimmy Rodriguez heads downtown; the new Zagat of the wine world?; Gael finds Greeks bearing gifts
Week of May 13
Coda Café becomes Café 66; Beacon revives a nineteenth-century tradition; The Palm gets back to its red-sauce roots.

and more ...



Photos: From top to bottom- Carina Salvi (2); Kenneth Chen.

 
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