“Casual, chic, disco, fun,” is how owner of Frankie’s Pizza Joint, Alana Matthews, sums up the new Darwin City restaurant/bar.
Located in the Smith Street Mall (the old Viva’s bar), a stone’s throw away from PM Eat & Drink, the tapas restaurant Alana and husband Ji opened to acclaim in 2016, Frankie’s is very much the couple’s “second child”. Quite literally.
As well as the pair’s second business, Frankie is also the name picked out for a potential second child.
Inside this new kid on the foodie block, the first thing you notice is the shiny disco ball hanging from the ceiling complete with neon pink lights. It sets the mood from the moment you walk in the door.
“We wanted to create a place that was really casual and fun where you could be sitting with friends drinking wine and having a great time and then you look at the time and realise its 1:30am,” says Ji.
Like the décor, the wine list is also a point of difference to PM. It’s noticeably cheaper. And deliberately so.
Alana and Ji make no secret Frankie’s is targeting a younger crowd with disco beats and a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights.
Speaking of wine, of course they’re all Italian, much like the two chefs in the kitchen who hail from Milan and Venice and make all the pizza dough, pasta and bread on site everyday from scratch.
And it shows. The gnocchi was the best we’ve ever had.
Five stars also goes to the venue’s signature cocktail, Frankie’s Sweet Heart.
In keeping with the blush colour palette of the interiors, it’s a sweeter, “pink” take on the traditional Aperol Spritz with Limoncello and cranberry added.
Which brings us to the pizza. And yes we saved the best for last.
As Ji says: “They’re light and fresh and won’t leave you with a food coma.”
We had the FFPJ, the pizza named after the venue, with prosciutto, cherry tomato, rocket, fior di latte (Italian mozzarella) and oregano.
But wait, we hear you say, what does the extra F stand for?
Well, after spending months pouring blood, sweat and tears into the new business, Ji says the name evolved into something else… F*cking Frankie’s Pizza Joint – FFPJ see?
As for our verdict on the new place?
It’s F*cking awesome.
Frankie’s Pizza Joint
Paspalis Building, Smith Street Mall (the old Viva’s bar)
More information here.