I checked out Frank’s Oyster Bar and Champagne Parlor the other day. It had opened to raves a few weeks prior and I was excited–I had enjoyed to food and wine at their previous restaurant, Pair, and oysters and champagne are two of my favorite things. But now, a few days later I’m having trouble mustering up the energy to tell you about the food.
It’s a hard day for a food blogger when they are too sick for food. Not just too sick to eat, but too sick to think about food. That’s where I am today. I’ve tried all the usual cures to try to ramp up that hunger–A little bit of soup, some truffles on toast, lentils, hell, I even tried to eat a bite of fried chicken, just in case that was what my illness needed to cure it. A lot of things can be cured with fried chicken, in case you weren’t aware. But I’m overcoming this food-phobia to bring you this review of Frank’s. And no, I was not sick when I went there, so it is not a biased review.
And yet I have no excitement. Not that the food at Frank’s is ringing away in my brain with past energy either. The food, as was the service, was resoundingly underwhelming. I’m sure that my current mood toward food is impeding my ability to write eloquently, but quite frankly, we left Frank’s wanting more.
We asked our waiter to course out our meals and our first course was actually quite lovely. Albacore tuna carpaccio, if not original, was simple and well presented with a small salad with watercress on the side, providing an excellent textural balance to the fish. We ordered a trio of oysters each, one of each of the three kinds they had along with the three mignonettes. The Olympia oysters and the Champagne mignonette blew away the competition and we happily awaited our next course.
Ah, but our second course was a disaster. Dishes came at us from every direction, hot dishes, cold dishes, side dishes, dishes that were clearly part of another dish, but with so many plates we couldn’t tell which one.
Our waiter dropped the plates and promptly abandoned us to sort out what went with what dish. “Would it be rude of me to ask them to take some of these back to the kitchen for a bit?” B asked. “Probably.” I answered, secretly wiching for him to ask anyways. It wouldn’t have mattered, our waiter was long gone at that point. We dug in to our pile of plates. By far the best of these was the side dish of creamed kale, which was my first bite. Unfortuantely, by the time I tasted other dishes and got back to it, it was frigid and no longer delightful. Once we figured out that the random plate of butter lettuce leaves was one half of our Dungeness Crab Louie wraps and paired it up with its mate, it was quite good, though after the first bite I eliminated the chopped olives, as they overwhelmed the rest of the flavors.
The Cheddar biscuits with Kurabota ham were bland at best, and though slathering them in the calvados apple butter went along way to saving them, they were certainly not worth ordering again. Most astonishingly, my heart of romaine salad was terrible. The presentation, with a giant parmesan cracker on top, was very nice, however that parmesan was in fact the only detectable flavor–no sign of the supposed lemon and anchovy dressing. I tried to add salt to perk it up, but unfortunately the salt came with this tiny spoon that short of then putting it in my hands and spreading it about, would simply dump salt into piles all over the lettuce.
I had saved the beef tartare for last, in the hopes that it would redeem the meal. That beautiful, silky texture, the strong flavor of raw beef, there it was. Unfortunately it was paired with a strongly chared piece of bread, making for an overwhelmed bit of meat. Another dish gone awry.
Even after all of this, I was tempted into dessert, as it was a Kir Royale Float and I love me some Kir Royales. Alas, it was another case of odd pairings, as the dish was okay if you got certain elements in just the right amounts, but terrible if not.
Overall, remembering it from a day where I was in a lovely mood, it was an okay meal, but not worth the money. Writing about it on a day when I’m less happy, I would declare it pretty bad. A disappointing start for a promising restaurant. I hope for Frank’s sake, it can fix this up and make a go of it.