Named after Chef Melissa Perello’s grandmother, Frances is a neighborhood fine-dining restaurant where the focus is on simple but elegant cuisine that lets the Northern California ingredients shine. The restaurant is only open for dinner and with just a dozen or so tables it gets booked up way in advance; there is extremely limited seating for parties of more than four. It is possible to eat at the bar on a first-come, first-served basis. If you do manage to get a reservation—and it’s well worth persevering—you’ll choose from a small but artfully created seasonal menu of such dishes as linguine with anchovies, roast eggplant börek, quail with potato confit and purslane, and porcini and fig spoon bread. Note: Any meal that does not begin with the smoked bacon beignets and end with the Lumberjack Cake obligates you to return! There is an extensive wine list, with the house wines sold by the ounce, and a $20 corkage fee if you want to bring your own bottle.
By Nick Rowlands, AFAR Staff
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The SF Date Place: Frances
Frances is the neighborhood restaurant you wish were just around the corner from you. The place is small and cozy with just 50 seats and a bar. The menu changes daily. Their oysters and quail were fantastic. While I've had better desserts than their Lumberjack cake, I'd still suggest something sweet after your meal. After your meal, take a walk around the neighborhood—you're right between the Castro and the Mission, and there are some beautiful homes to take in. See how I researched SF here.
By Natalie Taylor, AFAR Local Expert