‘The Frank Sinatra’ VS style … so good!

It took me awhile…

… to take a swing at Othello’s Deli “The Frank Sinatra” sandwich I found at Serious Eats a couple of weeks back. Didn’t queue it up that weekend like I promised in my post but I finally cranked one out last night and OMG is this a great sandwich!

I’m not strong for eggplant as a rule … it’s a mouthfeel thing more than taste. I pretty much need it prepared the way you find it in TFS — sliced thin, breaded and fried to golden brown deliciousness.

In this sandwich the ‘plant works great up against the porky goodness of the ham/prosciutto stacked on top of it.

Joining the glorious yin/yang of the salty pork and “crisp veg” eggplant, the roasted red pepper adds a third pallet dimension … sort of an aromatic fruitiness that nicely rounds out the “Sinatra”.

The provolone seems to act as a negotiator between the big three ingredients, while the balsamic vinaigrette lands on yet another part of the pallet — punctuating the whole eating experience. Jump the break for the VS version of “The Frank Sinatra” 

I agree and disagree…

…with Max Falkowitz (Serious Eats NYC editor). Max suggested the prosciutto-to-egplant ratio should be altered by canting toward more ‘plant and less prosciutto.

Though a big stack of prosciutto may be salt heavy, rather than muck with the pork/’plant ratio I subbed in pannonia ham for just a bit more than half the prosciutto.

My “ham plan” keeps the pork quotient intact while dialing back the saltiness a bit and enhancing the meaty mouthfeel of the sandwich (my opinion). It’s also a little easier to bite through — a thick layer of prosciutto can be tough to get the choppers through!

Where I do see “sandwich to sandwich” with Max is on the bread preference. I made the TFS with a griddle toasted Kaiser roll and definitely see Max’s point on the softer roll vs a crispy baguette. I like the way the vinaigrette and juices from the sandwich meld into the bread … it all comes together as a TFS sandwich rather than a stack of deli ingredients riding on bread.

OK, it’s sort of a pain…

…to slice, bread and fry off eggplant just to make a sandwich. But trust me, the result is fabulous. Plan this around a stay-at-home Friday movie night or the like … pour some nice medium bodied red wine, fry up some ‘plant and build “The Frank Sinatra” …VS style!

'The Frank Sinatra'
VS interpretation of Othello's Deli classic "The Frank Sinatra" sandwich. This is not so much a recipe as an assembly guide ... I'm assuming you know how to fry off eggplant and make up a vinaigrette.
Cuisine: Italian-American
  • eggplant sliced ⅛-1/4" thick, breaded and pan fried GBD (3-4 slices per sandwich)
  • prosciutto sliced paper thin (3-4 regular slices per sandwich)
  • Pannonia ham sliced thin but not shaved (equal or a bit more portion to the prosciutto)
  • roasted red pepper from a jar (or roast them off yourself)
  • provolone cheese sliced for sandwiches
  • balsamic vinaigrette
  • Kaiser roll (or the like ... something good quality)
  1. Slice and lightly butter the rolls.
  2. Heat a pan or griddle and toast the rolls cut side down just long enough to get light browning.
  3. Assemble the sandwiches ... spritz a bit of vinaigrette on the bottom roll and then stack with 3-4 pieces of fried 'plant; spritz a bit more vinaigrette on the 'plant.
  4. Add a slice of provolone and continue the stack with the "right amount" of ham. Continue the stack with another slice of cheese and the prosciutto; spritz again.
  5. Add one last slice of provolone and top with a single layer of roasted red pepper.
  6. Hit the top of the stack (the peppers) and the top roll with more vinaigrette spritzes ... you don't want the vinaigrette to over power but you do want to know it's there.
Really the best suggestion for making this sandwich is to make it look like the picture ... and then eat it!




  • Susan

    This was REALLY good…. just make the sandwich, eat it, and ENJ0Y !