Cousins Mike and Doug Dunlay, who brought us Smoke Daddy
, Dunlays on the Square
, Dunlays on Clark
and D.O.C. Wine Bar
, are at it again. From the gourmet wood-fired pizzas to the impressive, Italian-heavy wine list to the sweet-as-can-be staff, there's just nothing not to love about Frasca.
The dining room is hip and sophisticated, and there's a warm, neighborhood vibe going on. In the back, the open kitchen (complete with wood-burning oven) is a spotless sight to behold. Other decor highlights include striking red leather booths, a wine cellar (visible through glass doors) and a handsome wood bar embedded with river rocks and complete with a plasma TV.
The list of not-to-be-missed appetizers ($6-$9) features wood-fired shrimp, Italian cheese fondue and oven-roasted calamari with white beans, olives and tomatoes (a healthier take on the fried favorite). Other pre-pizza options can be found on the "Farmer's Table" menu, which features an assortment of Italian cheeses, meats and bruschetta.
Believe it or not, things get even better after appetizers, thanks to eight signature pizzas (especially the crowd-pleasing Capone with wood-roasted onions, fennel sausage and mozzarella; $12) and a handful of appealing entrees that includes a gorgonzola crusted filet mignon and bricked chicken with Tuscan-style white beans. Pair your pie with some wine (available by the bottle, glass or taste), and you've got yourself a perfect meal. FYI: Bottles of vino are half-price on Monday, and glasses are half-price on Tuesday. As for the grand finale, the cinnamon doughnuts with vanilla bean ice cream are utterly unforgettable.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Natalie Goldstein