Frances and its chef/owner, Melissa Perello, are local legends but it wasn’t until recently that I had the opportunity to dine there. Tucked in a quiet corner on 17th Street, the place was already full when we arrived for our 5:30 (!) reservation on a sunny Friday evening. The space is minimal in its design and lets the focus rightly be on the food.
Specializing in seasonal, locally sourced dishes, we loved everything we had the pleasure to eat. We started with the Applewood Smoked Bacon Beignets and Brokaw Hass Avocado. The beignets were surprisingly not sweet (in a good way) and especially delicious paired with creme fraiche. The Avocado appetizer appears rather simple — with crispy maitake mushroom, black garlic and cilantro — but the combination of flavors are fantastic.
We enjoyed the Little Gem Salad with the Bavette Steak and Duck daily special for our entrees, all of which were excellent. For dessert, I had read about the Lumberjack Cake and though I don’t usually prefer two of the four ingredients listed and am not even sure what the last two are — I went ahead and ordered it anyway. That gamble paid off as the cake was truly delicious and different. As I’ve said before, what a difference excellent culinary skills make!
Photos courtesy of Frances.