Issue 1: 1. La Bourgogne 2. Feast / See / Stay 3. Spotlight On 4. Franks’ Finds 5. Cook like a Frank Franks Almanac Spring 2019: Frank Castronovo & Frank Falcinelli
We’re used to fielding questions from friends about where we like to eat and what we like to do—and it’s our pleasure to oblige. Franks Almanac, our new newsletter, is our way of giving anyone who’s interested a glimpse of what excites us. Like most things we do, The Almanac will be a freewheeling affair, something that’ll change as we go along, but here’s what we have in mind: tips on—and memories of—a favorite region of the world; a recipe you might want to add to your repertoire; and news about our restaurants and the people who work in them.
Revered for its wealth of vineyards stretched across the region’s panoramic hills—also known as “la Route des Grands Crus”—Burgundy is the backdrop for some of France’s most legendary food and wine.
Our ties to the region date back to the 1980s, when we both decided we’d dedicate ourselves to professional cooking. French Nouvelle Cuisine was coming to prominence in major cities around the world: in New York, the grandes tables were Lutèce and La Côte Basque. But having spent our lives to that point in Queens, we felt that working in Manhattan wasn’t going to be enough. We needed to go straight to the source, so we packed our bags and set out to learn the foundations.
From left: Frank F. at Andre Daguin’s Hôtel de France in Auch; Frank F. at Jardin de l’Opéra; Frank C. and Paul Bocuse; Frank C. in Paris.
BIKING – Very popular among locals and tourists in Burgundy, rent a bike in Beaune and cruise the Route des Grand Crus to see some vineyards. Fun fact: At age 18, Frank C. biked his way from Paris to Burgundy knocking on kitchen doors for stage opportunities, eventually landing a job at Paul Bocuse’s famed restaurant outside of Lyon. CHÂTEAU DE LA RESLE – For those who like a little bit of luxury but also dig that bed & breakfast vibe, this is the place.
L’HOTEL DE BEAUNE – A top spot with loads of charm and one of the better wine lists in town. Sitting on the terrace and drinking a glass is the best way to wind down at the end of the day.
CAVEs MADELEINE – A relatively inexpensive modern tasting menu that is easily the best meal in the heart of Beaune.
LA COLLINE DU COLOMBIER – Get yourself one of the contemporary Cadoles— small, dry-stone lodges tucked amongst the vines of Burgundy—so you’re looking out onto the open countryside. Plus, of course, enjoy Troisgros dining and subtle wines in the rustic, renovated farmhouse.
MAISON TROISGROS – One of the world’s most legendary restaurants, the three-star Troisgros has been run by the same family since it opened nearly 100 years ago. The wild salmon in a buttery sorrel sauce never leaves  the menu, but this is far from a museum: the Troisgros have a rare knack for balancing the new and the old, and so every meal is a revelation.
CHARCUTERIE RAILLARD – Artisanal preparations like parsley ham, terrines, pâtés, tourte Beaunoise and other Burgundy specialties. If we could bring some back to Brooklyn, we would.
John B. Paterson IV – The Franks interview the wine director of Frankies Spuntino
Founded in Paris in 1927, the Vetra Worker Jacket is the inspiration behind the uniforms at Franks Wine Bar, which are actually designed locally by Jones of Boerum Hill. Doesn’t get any more classic than Opinel knives, born 125 years ago in the Savoie region, in the heart of the French Alps.
Founded in Paris in 1927, the Vetra Worker Jacket is the inspiration behind the uniforms at Franks Wine Bar, which are actually designed locally by Jones of Boerum Hill. Founded in Paris in 1927, the Vetra Worker Jacket is the inspiration behind the uniforms at Franks Wine Bar, which are actually designed locally by Jones of Boerum Hill.
We know our rolling papers, and nobody touches our Devambez, crafted since 1826 with organic hemp from Champagne. Mauviel copper pots and pans are unparalelled in quality, craftsmanship, and heat distribution; a staple in our kitchen.
Cod Croquettes – The first dish we knew had to be on the menu at Franks Wine Bar, these succulent, piping-hot croquettes take us somewhere between France and Spain, two cultures that know how to combine cod, olive oil and potatoes to incredible effect.
Frank C. learned the vernacular of Southern Italian food in his grandparents’ kitchen (just like Frank F.). He spent his formative years training under the likes of Paul Bocuse and David Bouley, before becoming the Chef at beloved NYC restaurants Jean Claude and Parish & Co. Frank F. studied at the Culinary Institue of America and trained in French kitchens including Maxim’s of Paris and Jardin de l’Opéra, before becoming the Executive Chef of the acclaimed Moomba in NYC. He opened Frankies 457 Spuntino in 2004, after reconnecting with a childhood friend from Queens who also happened to choose a life in the kitchen: Frank Castronovo.
The Frankies Spuntino Group comprises Frankies 457 Spuntino, a pioneering Brooklyn restaurant in Carroll Gardens which, for nearly fifteen years, has served accessible and elegant Italian-American fare; Franks Wine Bar, also in Carroll Gardens; and Frankies 570 Spuntino, in Manhattan’s West Village.
Issue I. Burgundy, France Franks Almanac Issue II. Sicily, Italy