Brooklyn’s Frank Pinello sets up Italian-American menu at Freddy Smalls

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Jeff weinstein (Le Comptoir, Cadet) recently brought in Frank Pinello of Best pizza in Brooklyn to retool its three-year-old West LA restaurant. Freddy Smalls started life as a gourmet pub, but has always had gourmet chefs in charge of the kitchen. After Charlie Parker (and later his sous chef Victoria Yang) gone, the kitchen had wandered.

Throughout the chief trades, the space, with its New York homage and vibe evident in its compact space and subway tiles, called for a menu evocative of NYC. And Pinello is about to bring that New York flavor to it. Best pizza is known for his old-fashioned slices that stay true to the quality of the ingredients, as well as Bill Meier, his all-weather, all-purpose and fixie delivery guy who comes from passed away last month.

Frank Pinello

But Pinello, who had already partnered with Roberta’s, was eager to get back to preparing an “Italian red sauce” menu. He says Freddy’s new dishes will get back to basics, be completely devoid of hair-removing food, and over-delivered by offering Brooklyn Italian comfort food with solid execution. Think: clam casino (with XO sauce), meatballs, crostini, and mozzarella, all with locally sourced ingredients. Pinello is a student of Dan Barber’s third plate, but is also strongly influenced by the Sicilian cuisine of his nonna.

The menu redesign is already underway and should be completed by March 2. There was a slight hiatus as Pinello traveled back and forth between NYC and LA to care for Meier, who fell ill in January. Lunch and brunch menus will also follow shortly in March. In the meantime, those keen to sample Best Pizza’s Brooklyn slices should head to Top notch pizza, where Frank Pinello was the opening chief consultant.

Freddy Smalls Menu


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