JP and I first met Chef Owner of Frances Melissa Perello at the Alameda Flea Market when she was shopping for decor for her new San Francisco restaurant Octavia. I knew of Melissa because Frances at its bacon beignets came on my radar in 2009. I had made food my hobby that year and was eating my way through 7x7 magazine's The Big Eat. And I had stood in the window at Frances with my cocktail in one hand and my small plate balancing on the bar (along with many other San Franciscan food lovers) to see what this hot new restaurant was all about.
Like many San Francisco restaurants, Frances was closed for a time. She emerged from her long sleep last summer with the updated design by Boor Projects, and a new menu. When Melissa called us to add some Elsie Green soigné to Frances' new design we jumped at the chance.
Recently, Kelsey and I had a rare free night that coincided so we headed to Frances with our big appetites to capture the restaurant's experience with both our memories and Kelsey's camera.
Melissa and her team have a knack for making special dishes that feel both familiar and new at the same time, and for unique flavor pairings that create the perfect bite every time. The sourdough levain and butter with a sprinkling of sea salt was divine. And the smoked black cod with buttermilk and dill was one of those rare dishes in which you can see and taste every ingredient on the plate. Delicious.
Any night out with Kelsey is a special occasion, but for this night the atmosphere, the menu and the company made it extra special. Merci Frances! You look beautiful.
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