Frances

Frances
3870 17th St
San Francisco, CA 94114

Yelp

I was about ready to burst with my last and final meal for my SF summer trip.  Luckily, I pulled through and did not disappoint my fellow dining companions Triple F and Running Man, nor my dedicated readers/followers.  I always take one for the team.  After Lazy Bear, Frances was my next favorite spot during the weekend trip.  The food was simple but perfectly imagined and executed.  Everything about this place is what is right about the San Francisco dining scene.  Seasonal.  Farm to table.  No fuss.

 
Brokaw Avocado & Roasted Cauliflower zante currants, vadouvan, yogurt

I never really thought avocados and cauliflower would go together but I was proven wrong.  The buttery smoothness of the avocados went nicely with the crispy yet tender cauliflower florets.  The currants added some sweet tartness.  The yogurt was a cool creamy touch.

Grilled Beet Salad charred spring onion, blu del moncenisio, hazelnut

I loved the beet salad.  I love salads with varying textures and this definitely had that.  The charred spring onion definitely added some depth of flavor.

 

 

Panisse Frites chickpea fritters, sungold romesco, meyer lemon

These were really interesting.  If you didn’t know any better, you would think these are mozzarella sticks, french fries, or fried tofu.  I quite enjoyed these with a squeeze of lemon for some brightness.  Triple F didn’t seem to enjoy them as much as I did.

Applewood Smoked Bacon Beignets maple chive crème fraîche

The beignets were SO money.  Like damn frickin’ delicious, can I get me another helping delicious.  Yums!

Little Gem Panzanella Salad heirloom tomatoes, serpent cucumber, garlic crouton

Little gem lettuce is quite the popular green these days.  It’s been described as a cross between Romaine and butter lettuce.  This salad was probably something you could throw together at home, but it was still a tasty bowl of garden greens.  It really helped to balance out the previous heavy hitters of fried goodness.

Brentwood White Corn Soup zucchini hushpuppy, whipped crème fraîche, basil

Summer corn strikes again.  The soup was so sweet from 100% fresh summer corn.  The preparation let the ingredients sing.  The fried hushpuppy was crunchy contrast to the smooth soup.  Another well deserved Yums!

Five-Dot Ranch Bavette Steak roasted eggplant, nardello peppers, whipped ricotta

This was probably the weakest dish of the night, but only just slightly for being a bit of a rough chewy cut.  It was a lovely and hearty dish otherwise.  The whipped ricotta added creamy contrast.  I liked all the vegetables too.

Mushroom & White Corn Risotto king trumpet confit, baby shiitake, basile pesto 

I can’t remember a better risotto in recent dining memory.  It was undeniably perfect in every way.  It wasn’t too mushy or wet.  It wasn’t too cheesy or salty.  The mushrooms were hunky and plentiful.  The basil pesto was an excellent addition to add some brightness without overpower the subtle flavors of the dish.  So YUMS!

Summer Berry Tart frangipane, honeycomb candy, buttermilk sherbet

It’s not a summer meal unless it ends in berry something.  Simple, hard to fault.

Lumberjack Cake angelus peach, coconut, medjool date, muscovado ice cream

Running Man and Triple F were going on and on about this cake.  The hype was off the charts.  I am glad to say it was pretty good and not like anything I’ve ever had.  It has a deep caramelized sugar flavor, which complements the pureed dates and peaches that makes the base of this cake.  If you like light and fluffy cakes, this is not for you.  It’s dense and moist.  I guess depending on the season, a different fruit base is used.  During the fall, apples are used instead of peaches and the waitress said she likes it better then.

Frances started off and ended strong.  While not every dish garnered a notable “Yums!,” the food was excellent.  I loved how the food was fresh and seasonal, so San Franciscan in that way.  I really have no complaints and can offer no constructive criticism.  This place should keep doing what they do.  Another great aspect to Frances is that their price point is beyond reasonable for the high caliber food they offer.  Running Man puts Frances as one of his top 5 San Francisco restaurants.  Though he is moving away from the city, he would definitely come back here and to his other favorite joint, San Tung.
10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome! 
8 – Very good
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here

 

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