PARK SLOPE – A new wine-focused, Italian-inspired restaurant will open its doors Saturday evening in the space formerly occupied for 14 years by neighborhood favorite, Franny’s.
When Franny’s owner, Francine Stephens, decided to close her restaurant this past August, she contacted Joe Campanale to see if he was interested in taking over the lease at 348 Flatbush Avenue. Campanale, a wine professional and co-founder of L’Artusi, dell’anima, and Anfora, seized the opportunity and teamed up with Erin Shambura, former Executive Chef of L’Artusi, to launch Fausto—a new restaurant “inspired by their love of Italian food, wine, and dining culture.”
Shambura’s seasonally-driven menu, inspired by regional dishes she discovered while traveling throughout Northern Italy, “encourages diners to eat as the Italians do,” starting with small bites, followed by vegetable-rich antipasti, then a crudo, then a homemade pasta dish, and finishing with a fish or meat dish prepared in the restaurant’s wood-fire ovens—remnants from the Franny’s days.
Desserts include lemon ricotta cake, salted caramel panna cotta, and a variety of formaggio.
Campanale’s beverage menu includes reasonably priced bottles and half-bottles of “Italy-centric” wines highlighting some of his favorite small producers from Abruzzo, Campania, and Sicily. His cocktails incorporate a healthy dose of bitters and Italian spirits, such as the Amarcord made with contratto bitter, caffo bitter, argala bitter, tonic, and prosecco.
Fausto features a 12-seat bar, front dining area, rear dining area, and an open kitchen—similar to the Franny’s layout. Designed by Brooklyn firm HOME Studios, the space evokes “old world Italy” and “Italian dining culture” with modern, retro, and art deco touches.
The eatery also features a cavernous wine cellar downstairs that will serve double-duty as a private dining room for up to 25 guests. In the spring, Fausto will offer outdoor seating with a large sidewalk patio overlooking Flatbush Avenue.
348 Flatbush Avenue (between Sterling Place & 8th Avenue), Park Slope
Opens Saturday, December 9