By HarlemGal and Austin2Harlem
We enjoy dining out in Harlem and this past holiday weekend was no exception. For our Friday night outing, we decided to check out one of the newest food establishments in Harlem, Frizzante Italian Bistro & Bar, located on the corner of 117th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd. Like most Harlemites, we wondered when this place was going to open up. After our visit, we now feel the wait was worth it.
Let us start off by saying, Frizzante did not disappoint. We walked in around 9 PM and most tables were taken. Our first thought was “are we in Harlem?” Where did all these people come from? We didn’t recognize anyone in the place. It immediately felt like a downtown Italian bistro in Little Italy. The layout of the place is very well done with hanging lights, big wooden tables and a beautiful corner bar showcasing numerous wine bottles.
When we were seated, paper menus were provided with the words “CASH ONLY” on it. As we quickly scanned the menu, the price point diminished the cash only aspect because most items on the menu were below $10. BONUS! We were quite impressed. Now we were thinking, the next bonus will be if the food matches or surpasses its prices. And it did!
We started off with Antipasto misto: proscuitto, mortadella, soppressata and capocollo served on a nice round white place; and Cuori de carciofo alla Milanese: pan seared artichoke hearts. Both starters were simple, but very tasty. The artichokes were breaded and served with lemon wedges. We sprinkled a little bit of lemon juice on top and the item tasted like you were biting into a meaty artichoke. The cured meat was wonderful as well. We liked the proscuitto and the salami-like meat. Eating the meat with the garnished type red onion gave it a kick.
For our dinner plates, we had the Lasagne di carne, the meat lasagna, and the Scaloppine di vitello al limone, veal in a white wine and lemon sauce. Both dishes were absolutely delicious! What we were impressed the most by was the meat lasagna. It had no cheese, but it didn’t need it. It was scrumptous without it. The veal was lean and tender. You could cut it with your fork. This dish was served with roasted potatoes, but not that many. The meat was good, but they could have provided just a tad bit more potatoes. Between the two dishes we preferred the meat lasagna. However, you cannot go wrong with either one if you decide you’re in the mood for some veal.
As for dessert, we would have ordered some. After being open for only one day they were not ready to serve dessert or liquor. Frizzante does not have their liquor license yet. Not too worry, they allowed BYOB. We went to the little bodega on the corner of 116th and FDB for some brewski. However, we saw most patrons going to The Winery, Nectar or Harlem Vintage for a bottle of vino to go along with their dinner. Those establishments had to be happy that night and will be for a while until Frizzante gets their liquor license.
Overall, we had a wonderful time dining at Frizzante. We saw some discombulation, but it was minor and plus Frizzante has only been open for a few days now. Between the two of us our bill was a total of about $45, not including tip. We were extremely pleased with the food and with the fact that we did not have to venture downtown and pay a ton of money for a nice Italian meal.
Frizzante Italian Bistro & Bar
2168 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
New York, NY 10026-2001