Berkshire Restaurants: Frankie’s Ristorante Italiano Re-discovered

frankies-707At Hampton Terrace we want to make sure that our guests have the best possible dining experience. Most are here just a couple of nights, and considering the hundreds of choices in the Berkshires, the chance of accidently making the perfect choice is small. So we help the process along.

We have hosted over 35,000 guest nights here at the inn. The #1 topic at breakfast among our guests is a comparison of their dinners during their stay. So we hear a lot. And we have personally experienced most of the restaurants ourselves. The list of preferred places has always included Bistro Zinc, Pearl’s in Great Barrington, Fin and Betty’s Pizza in Lenox. All were created by the same ownership group over the past ten years, so it is safe to say they know what they are doing. We send a list of our “preferred” restaurants to our guests prior to their arrival, so that if they want to make reservations somewhere they can. Or if not, at least they arrive in the area with some ideas, and then they can look at the menu book in our front hall.

Last summer this group opened Frankie’s. It debuted right as the summer rush began, and we tried them twice, several months apart. Our experiences were not memorable. Plus, some of the guest feedback was pretty negative. So they did not make our list. There really ARE a lot of good Italian restaurants in the area.

But we saw positive reviews showing up on Trip Advisor recently. Occasionally some guests would end up there and report back that they liked the place. And then finally, we saw an ad that Frankie’s was running a winter 3-course price fix at $20. Remarkable enough for us to give it another try.

And I am glad we did. The special (Sunday-Thursday) includes soup or salad, a choice from about 10 entres, and either canolli or Tiramisu. I had the mushroom soup. Great. Susan had the Chicken Picata…and said it was the best she had ever eaten. Large, soft chicken chunks instead of tough hammered flat pieces…and a lemon/caper sauce that we mopped up with our bread to keep from losing any. I had the Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Perfect. We had to take our deserts to go….as the entres were normal size. You know how it is sometimes on these “teaser” price fix promotions….choice of 3 entres’ that are 40% smaller than a full price serving. Not this.

And we are normally VERY picky about wine choices. In this case, we had had some before leaving our house so a glass each was all we needed. And usually when we have to settle for wine-by-the-glass, we are not overwhelmed. In this case, I had a fine glass of house Chianti for $5, and Susan was happy with her white at $6.

So as of now, Frankie’s is on our list and we appreciate their giving us an “introductory” opportunity to come in on the cheap and give it another whirl. So for those of you coming to Hampton Terrace mid-week this winter, go check this out. And even if you are visiting us on a weekend, the normal menu prices should not deter you.