New York City, baby.

Friday, January 09, 2004


Lil' Frankie's (1st Ave.)

We've always felt that, for a man living in New York, there are few more essential skills than the ability to show his date a wonderful and pleasant dining experience. Here’s the catch: on
a Friday night at...hmm...eight pm.

We admit it: we still have yet to appreciate the pleasures of dining out at a hectic restaurant where getting a table involves a UN negotiator. And rarely have the company we kept been thrilled by this situation, so very common on the weekend in the Lower East Side and East Village.

Sometimes we love crowds, like when we're at a ballgame, but not when we're having a romantic dinner with the Blubox Intern.

If the downtown weekend dinner challenge wasn't hard enough, there's one more factor; we need to find this delicious and pleasing meal on a fixed income, while at the same time looking like we chose the spot for its 'funky vibe' and not because we are a 'cheap bastard'.

If you are trying to show that you're clued in, but actually have no clue at all, you take your sweetie to scorchingly hot Mermaid Inn (2nd Ave.) on a Friday night. But let's say you're one step above a putz or a show-off.

Than you're probably savvy enough to know that a few doors down is delectable, romantic, affordable Frank (2nd Ave.) . Sure bet, right?

In fact, you’re still one step behind because while Frank is great on -- say -- Wednesday and even Thursday, a metamorphosis takes place at this lovely Italian joint every weekend: it turns into hell.

For those who were truly attune to the forces of the East Village in 2003, they knew that the place where the universe was secretly serving up happiness every Friday night was Lil' Frankie's.

And when we're sitting by our wood-buring stove in Vermont when we're fifty-five, we're sure to reminisce about the days of better sexual stamina and sausage pizzas at our favorite weekend oasis, where the fear that a scary mob has overrun the eternally charming area evaporates like the steam from Lil' Frankie's awesome parchment-sealed salmon.


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