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Wedded Bits: A Family Feast

We had an original plan: to surprise our (slightly suspecting) families with a wedding during the official “first meet and greet” weekend in NYC. However, my sister started whispering, wondering. Then more. And more. Turns out, we’re a little obvious with our secret plans. They totally called us out on this. Then the logistical necessity of getting married as soon as possible quickly turned into an official invitation to our families to join us in our City Hall ceremony this October.

We were never great keepers of secrets in the first place.

Regardless, our original plan was always rooted in a weekend with our families as a weekend to show them what we loved about this city; where we met, fell in love, laughed, and more importantly, ate our way through these first glorious years.

[Awesomeness abounds, just come on in. Lil Frankie’s: 21 1st Ave in the East Village, NYC.]

Looking back on our tried and trues, we had options: our favorite ten-cent chicken wing bar at Croxley’s Ale House, our killer Mexican/Latin/Tapas-style taco place at Mercadito, our number-one breakfast-come-24-hour-baconeggandcheeseonacroissant place at 7A.

When it came time to decide where we should take our families to celebrate our newly-minted marriage certificate after City Hall? No contest. A local Italian place – actually three separate restaurants owned by the same brilliant man – were hands down the winner. Both Supper (northern Italian) and Lil Frankie’s (southern Italian/pizza) have been crowd favorites for a long time. I swear they have a secret tomato stash that lands perfectly ripe, juicy and flavorful tomatoes on your plate in the dead of winter.  It’s simply prepared food, in a low key atmosphere that nails “delicious” every time. Seriously. They can almost do no wrong. They are a young and broke 20-something’s godsend.


[Yum. Yum. Yum. Simple and delicious, see!? Image compliments of bexheartsyou.]

And they do family style eating for groups. Say what?

Both have excellent atmospheres, the kind of well-worn seats and walls that have listened to years of great meals. Lil Frankie’s won out in the end as its variety of offerings will undoubtedly make everyone very happy, and full, campers. It also helps that they have a little garden patio available for groups, or a back nook that should be nice and intimate for our rowdy crew. Our first meeting with the manager started off a little rocky, but by the end of our discussion – and his promise that we could doctor the daily specials for anything that we desired – we were hooked. There is talk of calamari, caprese salad with burrata mozzarella, prosciutto and arugula pizza, fresh ravioli with white wine and sage, osso bucco, and a platter of dessert options.  I think it’s safe to say that we will all leave very happy.

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[The back room we plan to take over. Adorable, no? Image compliments of jrglacken.]

It’s not the fanciest of places, but it’s rooted in memories, and incredible food. It’ll be wonderful, warm, and inviting: the perfect ingredients for a celebration.