What better way to spend the last night of a weekend-long family reunion in Rhode Island than at a Neapolitan family style restaurant and pizzeria? Frank & John from Italy has been a local tradition in East Greenwich since I can remember (I think they showed up in the 70s). The restaurant is located at 186 Main Street in East Greenwich. The place is small and quaint and modestly decorated much like a pizzeria that you’d find in the region of Campania, Italy. Don’t worry about getting lost. You’ll know when you’re near the restaurant—the smell of simmering tomatoes and freshly baked pizza will greet you long before you enter the restaurant.
The menu at Frank & John’s is not uncommon for an Italian restaurant. You’ll find the usual starters like mozzarella sticks, calamari, and antipasto salad along with regional dishes like fried smelts, stuffed quahogs, snail salad, and clams zuppa. They offer a variety of Italian dishes including pastas, subs, and beef, chicken, and veal entrees. My granddaughter had spaghetti and meatballs, and my brother had Clams Zuppa over Pasta(red).
The rest of us ordered pizzas, which, I think, is the restaurant’s speciality. The large pizza is oversized compared to other pizzeria-style pizzas. We had a half-n-half: half sausage and half pepperoni. (It ain’t pizza without pepperoni.) I noticed on the menu that anchovies could be added (I love this place) to any pizza. I’ve traveled much in my life, and I’ll say that Frank & John from Italy’s pizza is about as good as it gets. The dough is perfect—crunchy yet airy—with just the right amount of sauce, and, most importantly, not too much cheese. I don’t think we had any left overs on any of our tables.
I didn’t have the opportunity to talk to Frank and John although I heard Frank now lives in Italy, and John and his son primarily run the business. Prices are more than affordable, about $4-$40, depending on the dish ordered. The restaurant only takes cash, but it has an ATM on the premises. If you have the opportunity, make it a point to stop in and have a pizza at Frank & John’s. You’re sure to return. I know I will.