I like to unearth little gems all on my own, so when there’s when mad talk about a trendy new restaurant, I lose interest and head off in a different direction.
Hence the reason it’s taken me a while to try Frasca, 3358 N. Paulina, the new pizzeria and wine bar in my Roscoe Village ?hood.
I don’t know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn’t tremendous portions, soul-satisfying flavors and a good wine buzz to go along with it.
It was easily the most stimulating meal I’ve encountered this year.
Thanks to the wine flight ($12 for three ample portions) I now have a new wine favorite ? Greco di Tufo, a better-than-pinot-grigio white.
It was originally cultivated on the slopes of Greece but somehow made its way to Italy’s Campania region where it blossomed with sublime sweetness. It was perfect for pairing with our wild, unorganized method of ordering.
We’d requested our waitress bring everything at once for fear that we’d get too full off a lone appetizer.
Out poured the food.
A huge pile of emerald green asparagus topped with chopped egg and big chunks of Parmesan cheese sat side-by-side with a perfectly baked margarhita pizza.
Then things got really crazy when the waitress served the giant Butchers Platter — a choice of four different samples from the Old World Farmers’ Table. I was expecting tiny bites of cheese and ham, not entire rinds and a whole side of sow. Nonetheless, we were delighted.
Some tasty bruscetta was part of our platter. While the ricotta and honey was a smidge dry, the roasted eggplant and goat cheese was blissful.
The fat round of warm, crunchy bread that came with the dish was perfect for creating little sandwiches of tangy prosciutto, creamy fontina cheese and smears of fig chutney.
When we finally dove into the cracklin’ pizza, it was loaded with extra shreds of basil and every bite was packed with petite tomatoes and loads of fresh mozzarella.
I admit we got a bit out of hand with the chutney and smeared its sugary goodness all over the pizza crust.
I blame the wine flight for that bizarre, yet delicious, concoction. A couple of those will turn anybody into an inquisitive food scientist at the table.
THE FINAL RAVE: Though totally stuffed, we ordered a batch of cinnamon donuts. Think soft, little munchkins, dunked in golden honey and smothered with vanilla bean ice cream. You better believe I’ll be back to this homey find.
KEEP IT GOING:
DO IT: Winezap.com
This brilliant website compares prices for all your favorite new wines, lets you choose wines by regions and ever suggests food pairings. Once you find an agreeable price, you can link right to the seller’s website. Where has this one been all my life?
EAT IT: Taos, 2114 W. Roscoe St.
This Roscoe Village gem is getting great buzz (uh-oh). Could it be the clever name, the delish sounding menu or the prime location? Watch out Piazza Bella!
DRINK IT: Volo, 2008 W. Roscoe St.
They have a plethora of wine flights to go with their fresher-than-fresh food and their desserts are killers.
GET CRAZY WITH IT: Sam’s Wines & Spirits, 1720 N. Marcey St.
Not only do they have a jaw-dropping number variety and bottles, but their shelves are interspersed with self-service wine samplers so you can taste a wide variety of wines without much fuss.