The two Franks, Castronovo and Falcinelli, behind the perpetually packed trio of Frankies Spuntinos turn from rustic Italian to Northern Spanish, transforming their Lower East Side location into a Basque-influenced pintxos spot. Chef Ryan Bartlow, who was at Frankies 570 Spuntino across town, puts his two-year training at Spain's Akelarre (a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in San Sebastian) to work here. Nibble on crudo, cheeses, jamon Iberico and pintxos (like tuna-stuffed piquillo peppers with boquerones and aioli) and sip on wine while standing, as they do in Spain, in the front barroom. Diners looking for a full meal can take a seat for seasonal salads (white asparagus, baby beets) and larger shared plates (braised oxtail with garbanzo, pine nut and pine cream). To drink, find more than 50 organic, biodynamic and small-production wines, as well as sherries and Basque-style cider.
17 Clinton St
|Cross street:||between E Houston and Stanton Sts|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Fri 5pm–midnight; Sat, Sun 11am–midnight|
|Transport:||Subway: F to Lower East Side–Second Ave|
|Price:||Average small plate: $12. AmEx, MC, V|