Frances, Oh My Frances

Restaurant Review: Frances
Crowd: Polished men and women in their 30’s-60’s
Vibe: Lively and Energetic
Decor: Dim lighting, elegant yet earthy. You feel like you are at home.
Layout: Long and narrow with a very small bar
Neighborhood: On a cozy, lively neighborhood street in the Castro
Service: Unpretentious
Portion Size: Meant to be shared
Imbibe: Beer and wine only; the Market Shot is their specialty
Enjoy: Applewood-Smoked Bacon Beignets and Toasted Firebrand Brioche
Waist Slimmer: Beet Salad

Last Friday, we finally got the chance to go to the coveted Frances with our dear friend Fred. Of course, we had made reservations many weeks ago. And only then, we were able to get a table at 10PM. I love that the restaurant looks so unassuming from the outside. Actually, peering in from the window makes you want to walk into this warm, homey yet elegant place. Frances is a Club Dine In! approved restaurant. Frances supports the shortest distance between the source and the table, bringing its guests local, sustainable and organic products when available. The menu is market-driven. They also have custom blended wine on tap- $1 per ounce! Frances has garnered 3 stars from SF Chronicle and the chef/owner, Melissa Perello, has quite a few accolades under her belt.  Start with the Market Shot, a custom blend of fresh juice and make sure to get the beignets. The menu is small, which isn’t always a bad thing. The options are poor for vegetarians; the Crepe Cannelloni is just okay in flavor. I thought the Toasted Firebrand Brioche was better than the highly acclaimed beignets and could not get enough of them! The seafood and meat dishes are executed finely. Someone on the table should order the lamb dish, because it’s what Chef Perello does. Skip the dessert, it’s not worth it here. The ambiance is nice and beautiful, the service perfect and overall experience worthwhile. I would go back in a heartbeat if getting a seat wasn’t such a drag.

Market Shot and Frances Red

Toasted Firebrand Brioche

Applewood-Smoked Bacon Beignets

Roasted Beet Salad

Watson Farm Lamb

Wild Mushroom Crepe Cannelloni

Smoked Steelhead Trout

Almond and Semolina Crostata

50 seats

Three very stuffed yet happy patrons!

I just tried making reservations, but nothing is available until July! Maybe, you will have better luck.

Frances l 3870 17th Street San Francisco, CA 94114 l 415-621-3870

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2 thoughts on “Frances, Oh My Frances

  1. Incredible experience. Am usually not a fan of making reservations weeks ahead of time but this one was well worth it. I think if you show up later in the night (weeknight) – you may get lucky and sit at the bar! Am ready for another trip :)

  2. I certainly agree with Nimisha and Satish. A very welcome addition to the Castro area. An absolutley wonderful dining experience with them. Will definitely try a walkin in the near future as Satish suggested.

    Nimisha’s Club Dine In blog is very well written and very timely.

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