Last April, Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens moved their preeminent New Brooklyn Cuisine pizzeria Frannys a few blocks down Flatbush Avenue to a space twice its size. This, of course, did nothing to alleviate the no-reservations wait. But that could change with the opening next month of Marcos, the couples take on a classic trattoria, in the original Frannys space.
After all, if anything can dissuade fervent Frannys fans from charging its vestibule like wildebeest during the dry season, it would be a new Feinberg-and-Stephens dining option. Not that the restaurants will be the same. The thing to know about Marcos, according to its fact sheet, is that it is not Frannys, which seems like a comment directed at nostalgists still shocked by the originals closing and maintaining delusions of its return. The redesigned dining room has a clubby new look: lots of mahogany, cushioned banquettes, Paul McCobb chairs, antique silverware, leather-bound menus, and a dashing new marble bar. About all that remains from Frannys 1.0, in fact, is a brick wall and an old pew procured from a Crown Heights synagogue.
The kitchen has gotten a heavy-duty makeover too. Executive chef Danny Amend, a seven-year Frannys vet and Per Se alum, has banished the beloved pizza oven to make room for some swanky new equipment. So forget about clam pies and imagine spit-roasted pork loin with anchovy from the J rotisserie, lamb chops with vinegar peppers from the wood-fired grill, and scallops seared on the plancha. (Amend is especially jazzed about the Zojirushi rice cooker, which hell also use for farro and other grains.) Marcos menu is classically organized into antipasti, primi, secondi, and contorni sections, allowing for multiregional morsels like gnocchi fritti; rigatoni alla Norma; Venetian-style black squid; and, say, Italian rice with eel and saffron to come together on one table.
The booze is local and small-batch, the cocktails a mix of prosecco-based aperitivi and boozy old-man drinks, and the wine all Italian with an emphasis on Tuscany. It pretty much sounds like everything you could ask for in a New Brooklyn trattoria, except, of course, reservations: Unless youre dining with a six-to-eight-person entourage, Marcos, like Frannys, doesnt take them.
Marcos, 295 Flatbush Ave., nr. Prospect Pl., Prospect Heights; 718-230-0427; September.
*This article originally appeared in the September 2, 2013 issue of New York Magazine.
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