When we sat down to eat at Frankies Clinton Spuntino yesterday, we just about had the joint to ourselves.

We ordered, and great comfort food started coming almost immediately. At Frankies they serve absolutely delicious contemporary takes on classic red sauce Italian preparations. The Frankies obviously grew up with this food, and they have made it their business to restore its good name to food lovers in this town. If the run of the mill restaurants in Little Italy and Arthur Avenue actually served food that was anything better than acceptable, it would be the food they serve at Frankies.

We ate:

A delicous tomato, onion and avocado salad.

Two inspired classic sandwiches: grilled sweet faicco's sausage with broccoli rabe and meatball parmigiana, both served on toasted sullivan street bread.

a plate of pork braciole in marinara sauce, the tender pork tasting like Italian barbecue, the red sauce as good a red sauce as I've had in years.

For dessert, a not very sweet Ricotta cheesecake that would have made my cheesecake top ten in my Times article of a few years ago.

So walk, don't run, to Frankies 17 Clinton Spuntino. You'll never set foot in a bad Little Italy restaurant again. I haven't been to Frankies 457 Spuntino on Court Street in Carroll Gardens, but I'll be headed there soon.

Prices are extremely reasonable.

17 Clinton Street: 212-253-2303

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