Don't know these fine gentleman but I inexplicably know I would love them! And I rarely ever eat red meat (last time ended very badly) but I am sure one step in this joint and I would carnivore it out.
The Insider profiles emerging tastemakers in the fields of fashion, design, food, travel and the arts. Here, the Brooklyn-based chef-restaurateurs Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli (aka the Franks) of Frankies Spuntino(s) — one at 457 Court Street in Brooklyn, the other at 17 Clinton Street in Manhattan — and their latest venture, Prime Meats at 465 Court Street in Carroll Gardens, share their essentials.
Castronovo: 41; 1967 — summer of love.
Falcinelli: Just turned 44.
F: Thoroughly invigorating [also, see above]
C: Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
F: South Brooklyn
C: Sunny’s in Red Hook. It’s one of the most authentic longshoreman bars — one of the top 10 in the country — family owner-operated for over 100 years. Prospect Park: I love to go there with my kids to ride bikes, and the whole place is like a giant dog run; we have a hound dog.
F: Le Cepa in San Sebastian, Spain, is where I get my jamon and spicy peppers.
C: What Comes Around Goes Around, that’s my source for real Levi’s from the ’50s and ’60s. And then I love the creative director Gerard Maione’s own label, the Key.
Momentary Style Obsessions
F: I’ve been dying to purchase some suits. I got a bunch last year, and the only one I’ve worn was a Ralph Lauren — please, Black Label — blue seersucker, and I got tons of compliments. I’m obsessed with a certain type of suit that Lincoln wore. I hired Donna Zakowska, who did the costumes for “John Adams,” because she’s doing all of our uniforms for Prime Meats (they’re going to be so period-perfect). It’s a four-piece suit — the Prince Albert, I think it’s called.
C: Vans for skateboarding, still; must have been doing that my whole life.
F: I’ve got a pair of original Nike Jordan Dunks. I love the original Pro Keds with the two stripes. And, of course, Converse All Stars.
C: I don’t normally do grooming: I have a long beard. Alix comes to me; she’s a professional hair cutter to the stars. I don’t even know her last name.
F: Alix just left my house five minutes ago. She prefers to be called Alix Hair.
C: Brimfield Antique Show, three times a year [May, July and September]; fall is the best.
C: Only the Dutch know how to make the best paint. Luckily we have a connection that ships it in from Amsterdam. The name is on the tip of my tongue. Frank will know it.
F: I happen to have a can right here in front me. Sigmakalon. This stuff is like gold; you have no idea what it’s like smuggling stuff like this out of Amsterdam.
C: The Birds, Jefferson Airplane, Vetiver.
F: Judee Sill, Pentangle, Sandy Denny, Pearls Before Swine, Charlie Rich, New Riders of Purple Sage, Vetiver (of course); also the new Neil Young box set and Grateful Dead’s 1970 Winterland recording.
C: I’ve got pictures of me at Woodstock at 2 years old, but I don’t remember it. Personal favorite concert? Black Crowes in Amsterdam, but all of their shows have been good.
F: Neil Young up in Woodstock and at Radio City Hall when he did the Greendale shows — he did a set as Neil Young as himself then another set as Neil Young with Crazy House; the Black Crowes, Halloween 1991 — I brought my whole kitchen staff to the show, that was cool.
C: Australia (the Five Apostles), Indonesia (Lumbak and Bali), Nepal (the Tatopani, a small village in the Himalayas).F: I was just in San Sebastian, and I’d probably want to go back there. And I gotta go back to Japan — I want to tour around.
New DestinationC: Argentina (Malbec), Brazil, Chile (Patagonia).
New DestinationC: Argentina (Malbec), Brazil, Chile (Patagonia).
F: I’ve got to get to Tibet.
C: Ice cream from Blue Marble or Laboratorio del Gelato. For a pantry, you don’t need a lot: beans, lentils, olive oil, some vinegar, can of tomatoes (a couple), salt and pepper, flour, dry pasta. Keep it simple and fresh. You can do a lot of damage with those few things.
F: I like to have some thick honeys around, and dried sausages — Italian or French; sick teas — Chinese or African — from In Pursuit of Tea, which we stock because it’s the best.
C: I’m not going to say heirloom tomatoes. That’s what everyone says. What have I been cooking the hell out of? Fennel; I’ve been braising it in olive oil.
F: It was heirloom tomatoes, and then there’s the blight right now, so instead, caviar? No. Pork belly. We’re making sick pork belly: we’re braising it.
C: I always bring olive oil.
F: Usually the laughing juice, which is the Lambrusco. These days it’s Lini 910 Lambrusco Scuro.
C: I’m kind of digging this River Cottage meat book; it’s like a bible.
C: I like the cheeks, man: pork, beef, any kind of cheeks. I like to squeeze the cheeks. I also love to braise them. I’ve been called the king of braise.
F: Dry-aged rib-eye.
C: I like spaetzle.
F: Fazzoletti. I’ve had about 50 bowls lately.
C: My favorite restaurant, high end: Paul Bocuse in France; I’d like to go just to get schooled by the classics again. For everyday kind of stuff, I like Hasaki: it’s just solid sushi. It’s full of Japanese people, because they know. And across the street, I like Soba-ya.
F: Other than Le Bernardin? Wait, are you talking international? Then it’s a large palate. … If it’s everyday, I go to Hasaki a lot on Ninth Street.
C: I like to stay home. I’d probably just cook what my kids want to eat. I just make other people happy and it makes me happy
F: That’s hard to describe. I’d have dinner at Ardignia in Sicily. It means, “where eagles dare.” It’s on the top of a hill, surrounded by a farm. It’s sick. I’d have as much of the menu as I could: fresh ricotta (they make on the farm), sickest wild game, sickest pasta … sickest everything.
C: Prime Meats
C: An amazing book called “The One Straw Revolution” by Masanobu Fukuoka. It’s awesome. It’s like the precursor to Michael Pollan’s writing. If you like “Omnivore’s Dilemma” or “In Defense of Food,” you’ll love it. Peter Meehan, who’s writing our cookbook, turned us onto it.
F: I’m reading “The Handbook of Fermented Meat and Poultry,” “The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening,” “Gardening the Organic Way, ” and then the usual stuff: “Storming Heaven,” a little Baudelaire, “Flowers of Evil,” a coolbook on Escoffier called “Escoffier King of Chefs,” “Love and Money” by Michael M. Thomas … and the galleys for the “Frankies Spuntino Cookbook.” Oh, also, “Death With Interruptions” and this book Peter Kaminsky wrote about grilling in Argentina, “Seven Fires.”
C: I’m so into Crane’s Cotton Paper: no trees are hurt. I spend the extra money for the quality paper, and I use it for almost everything I do.
F: Levi’s has been giving Crane’s their denim scraps for years.