20041014Eustace.jpgSlice let its subscription to the New Yorker lapse. Between the piles of unread issues and the mountain of empty pizza boxes, the office was getting a bit out of hand. Considering that we couldn't give up pizza, the weekly reader had to go.

Still, with the help of eagle-eye readers, we remain aware of any pizza news that passes in the pages of that legendary magazine. Like this review of Franny's in the Tables for Two column:

A pizzeria may seem like an unlikely place to be schooled in socially responsible consumerism, but the menu at Franny’s offers a quick course in sustainable agriculture: milk (non-homogenized) from Evan’s Farmhouse Creamery upstate, tomatoes from Bill Maxwell’s Farm in New Jersey, pork from Iowa’s organic Niman Ranch. The offerings are ever-changing, according to what appears at the market; recently there were crostini with a smear of garlicky chicken liver or piles of roasted cherry tomatoes, and pumpkin fritters, lightly battered and supremely fresh. The eggplant salad with ricotta achieved a melting creaminess, and wood-roasted octopus curled out of a heap of piquant olive-and-pistachio salsa.

“I’m just here for you, so take your time,” a waitress assured a diner lingering over the menu one early-autumn night. Later, she brought out a sparkling red wine for an undecided guest to taste, saying, “If you don’t like it, I won’t be offended.” The individually sized pizzas are cooked in a brick oven, hand-built by Gennaro Iadicicco, a third-generation oven artisan. When they arrived, flopping over the edges of the plates, the crust was thin and toothsome—as crisp as a cracker on the cheeseless clam-and-chili pizza, soft but still firm under the influence of the quattro formaggi. The chef has improved upon the traditional toppings, offering house-cured meats instead: guanciale, or pork cheek, is a thicker, richer cut of bacon, while pepperoni is easily trumped by the tender bite of fennel salami.

Franny’s, which opened in April, has quickly become a neighborhood favorite. On weekday nights, its closely spaced tables fill with professional couples carrying briefcases and gym bags and Park Slope families training the palates of their young. On the weekend, waiting parties take cocktails to the back garden. Despite the easygoing atmosphere, there’s no escaping the restaurant’s principles (it sells sweatshop-free, eco-friendly T-shirts, and its takeout pizza boxes are made from recycled fibres). And then there’s the aversion to waste. If you leave even a slender wedge of your salami pie, expect a waitress to ask, “You’re sure you don’t want to take that home?”

We're not surprised the New Yorker liked Franny's. It's been highly rated by almost every publication in town, including Slice. And we're glad to see that dandy Eustace Tilley take off his gloves and get his hands dirty with pizza grease.

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: