Thursday, November 19, 2020

First Impressions of Frank in Beverly: Pasta Raves

When L'Espalier closed its doors, Chef/Co-owner Frank McClelland eventually moved onto his next endeavor, opening Frank restaurant in Beverly, and it just celebrated its first anniversary. Their website states Frank is "...lower-key but no less vigorous approach to local and season-centric food. With the same farmer-first philosophy and enduring commitment to credible food origin, we are thrilled to offer an ethical, affordable and delicious option for everyday eating."

Adam Japko and I recently stopped by for dinner, and we were fortunate the weather was beautiful and we were able to sit out on their patio. Prior to dinner though, we explored the small market attached to the restaurant, which sells a variety of foods, wines, spirits, and kitchen items. The wine selection is small but diverse, with plenty of intriguing options. There is also a small case of their baked goods, from cookies to brownies, and more. Both Adam and I bought some wine before we went to dinner. 

I'm presenting my first impressions of Frank, which are briefer than a full review. And I'm definitely returning to Frank, to try more of the menu, so will provide updates in the future. Overall, I was impressed with Frank, especially their Pasta dishes. 

The restaurant is open for Lunch and Dinner, and their Dinner Menu has Raw Bar (Oysters & Little Necks), Cheese & Charcuterie, Salads, Locally-Sourced Sides (like Iron Ox freshly dug potatoes and Alprilla braised fall greens), House-Made Pasta (available in half and full size), Grills & Roasts, and Treats & Temptations (dessert). Most of the Entree dishes are in the $20s, with a couple exceptions, and they also offer a Duck For Two ($110), which you must order ahead of time. There's lots of choices, and the hardest part might be deciding which dish of many you wish to order.

The list of Wines by the Bottle has about 35 choices, the majority ranging from $44 to $100, include Sparkling, White, Red, Rose, and Orange wines. It is fascinating list for wine lovers with lots of great choices, especially many more natural wines. We opted for the 2019 Frank Cornelisson Etna Rosato "Susucaru" ($72). As this wine retails for around $36, the markup is reasonable. This wine is a blend of Nerello Mascalese, Malvasia, and Moscadela from Sicily. It was refreshing and crisp, light-bodied, and had a delicious blend of flavors, including red fruits and earthiness, as well as a vein of minerality. It was also an excellent food wine.

We began the meal with some House-Made Focaccia with honey butter ($3.75), and it was quite tasty, with a crunchy crust atop it and a soft, pillowy interior, enhanced by the slightly sweet butter. As a bread lover, this was a fine introduction to the quality of their dishes.

We then went for some cheese and charcuterie, including the Magic Mountain Reserve Cheese, with peach jam and spice bread ($7.75) and Duck Rillette, with cherry mostarda ($10). The spice bread was a winner, especially with the peach jam. And the Rillette was intense, creamy and earthy. 

There are 3 Pasta options on the menu and we tried two of them. The Clam Chitarra, with pancetta, and sofrito ($13.50 half/$27 full), was amazing. Such a depth of flavor, a nice blend of textures, and a great taste. The pasta was cooked perfectly, the pancetta added a smoky and salty element, and the clams gave that tiny bit of the sea. Highly recommended!

The Lumache, topped with Bolognese and whipped ricotta ($13.50 half/$27 full), was also amazing. The Lumacha pasta was very al dente, and the Bolognese also had a nice depth of flavor, with plenty of tender meat. The addition of the whipped ricotta added a pleasing creamy element to the dish. It was a very ample portion and every bite was pure delight. Also Highly Recommended.

The Frank Hamburger ($19.50), is topped with pepper jack cheese, Frank hot sauce, mayo, pickles, crispy onion strings, and onion bacon jam, and also comes with hand-cut fries. It was a juicy and tender burger, with a nice blend of flavors from all the toppings. And the fries and onion strings were quite delicious, crisp and fresh. 

Service was excellent and we didn't opt for dessert but both were very pleased with dinner. The pasta dishes were killer and I look forward to trying more of the menu. I'd definitely recommend Frank for its delicious food and fine wine list. 

1 comment:

Brad Smith said...

This is the best kind of review, Rich. Short and sweet. Overall feeling. Leads me to visit the restaurant soon. Thanks!