white pizza

Frascelli’s offers a taste of New York in Crestwood

Pizza! It’s what’s for lunch, and what’s for dinner too. You can even enjoy it as breakfast, cold from the fridge or reconstituted in the oven. You can make it healthy with light veggies and skimpy cheese; or you can load it up with a meat lover’s special, double down on the cheese, and give a cardiologist nightmares.

Pizza! St. Matthews is awash in pizzerias these days, and I expect that’s because its burgeoning nightspot scene has become a rival to the metro’s other busy night-life zones, and all that boozy frolicking calls for something cheesy, salty and substantial that’s available late.

But pizza isn’t all about tamping down an evening’s excesses. For this week’s report, let’s move out the road to suburban Crestwood, where Frascelli’s provides a taste of New York City Italian-American fare – including pizza – with a friendly Kentucky accent.

Frascelli’s, now in its second location in Crestwood Station, boasts spacious quarters, with a high cathedral ceiling and wood-look tables and comfy chairs that allow plenty of room to spread out with kids and family. Only those over 21 are allowed in the back room bar, past a “New York City This Exit” sign.

The extensive menu includes pizza, of course, from $10 (for a plain 16-inch medium pie) to $22.95 (for any of several Sicilian-style deep square pizzas). It’s also available by the slice for $2.25 plus a quarter per topping.

Appetizers and salads, Calzones and Stromboli sandwiches, even gyros and wraps are on the menu, too. There are pasta courses and dinner entrees, filling Italian-American meals mostly priced at $10.99 or less. The grilled fish of the day, a seafood platter or fried flounder will set you back $8.99; spaghetti with marinara sauce will fill you up for just $5.99.

Subs are called “wedges” here, which in my experience is a local name for sub sandwiches in Westchester County, just north of the city, but hey … by any other name they’d taste as filling. There must be 30 variations on the menu, all $5 for a half-sub, $6.75 for a full-size model.

So many items tempted us that we ended up ordering way too much, which was not a problem: Take-out boxes provided us with lunches for days. A Caesar salad ($2.99 as a side salad) was decent if not awe-inspiring with squares of romaine in a creamy dressing. An offbeat appetizer, meatball “sliders” ($4.99), paid homage to the Aluminum Palace with four square white buns, each topped with a meatball topped with a dollop of thick marinara and melted cheese. The meatballs were the best part, dense and beefy.

Mary’s Italian combo “wedge” ($6.75) was all a sub should be, a white hero bun loaded with an Italian deli mix: salami, ham, mortadella (Italian bologna), provolone cheese, lettuce and pale tomato, a bit of roasted red pepper and a thin coat of Italian dressing.

We went with a “white pizza” ($16.95 for medium) and got one that reminded us of neighborhood pizzerias in Queens, New York: A thin crust with a puffy, bready edge was topped with a creamy white mix of mozzarella and ricotta cheeses, oven-baked until tasty brown spots started to appear. There’s no red sauce on this pie, and none is needed.

With no room left for dessert (although I’ve got my eyes on a cannoli next time), a more-than-filling dinner for two totaled $38.33, and exceptionally friendly and courteous service earned an $8 tip.

Frascelli’s New York Deli
6010 Crestwood Station
Crestwood, Ky.