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Frank's West Ristorante Italiano, New York Style Pizzaria; City Bar & Rotisserie

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Frank's West Ristorante Italiano and Pizzeria is a great destination for a date or to just pick up a pizza. There were, when we visited, several appealing appetizers: artichoke alla Siciliana ($5.50), roasted peppers a la Frank ($5.50), and insalata di calamarie fagioli — squid and bean salad with fresh herbs ($6). For an entree, Frank's West offers the familiar selection of pastas, such as baked ziti ($9.25) and cannelloni ($9.25), gnocchi ($9.25), and spinach ravioli ($9.25), to name a few. Some specialties of the house include chicken rollatini — rolled with ham, mozzarella and topped with mushroom sauce ($12.25); veal pizziaole — sliced veal cooked with tomato, garlic and oregano ($13.50); and shrimp fradiavalo made with a spicy marinara sauce ($14.25). The New York-style thin crust pizza was fresh with a distinct texture, unlike its often breadlike, airy counterparts.

Kevin Finucane

Frank's West Ristorante Italiano,

New York Style Pizzaria

11238 Patterson Ave.
Tuckahoe Village Shopping Center
754-8380
Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday, Saturday 11a.m. - 11p.m.
Sunday noon- 9 p.m.
Closed Monday

Open only since June, City Bar & Rotisserie looks and feels like a Richmond institution. They're serious about oysters. More than a dozen different kinds are available, individually ($1.25 - $2), as a sampler ($23.50) with several dipping sauces called mignonettes, or in flights accompanied by wines ($19.25 - $20.75).

The entrees ($15.95 - $32.95) are traditional. According to the menu, the beef is dry-aged 49 days and is featured as roasted prime rib. The eponymous rotisserie is not in physical evidence, but several items of the menu are cooked on it. The leg of lamb so cooked is excellent. A loin of monkfish, firm of flesh and usually rather dull, is cooked in a bacon wrap, a play on the old hors d'oeuvres favorite. Paired with lentils and a dose of sherry gastrique, it is a hearty and satisfying dish for an early fall evening.

The Shockoe Bottom dining scene has been rather erratic with many openings and closings. This visit to City Bar & Rotisserie suggests a winner. A wonderful old landmark has been given new life, and we can have a delightful time with good food in a pleasing atmosphere. It's worth the trip. — J. Davis Morton

City Bar & Rotisserie
1548 Main St.
Lunch: Monday - Friday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5 - 11p.m.;
Friday - Saturday 5 - Midnight
649-CITY, www.citybarandrotisserie.com

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