More. Everyone wants more of something. I want more streetfood spots in Seattle. Tiger Woods wants more majors. Bruce Dickinson wants more cowbell. The Smithsonian wants more artifacts. I also want more great places to eat in Seattle. Thankfully we are a great food city and there are more restaurants adding to this reputation. In fact, a new one from the folks that have brought us U-District’s great Pair have another place they want to be included into the discussion; Frank’s Oyster House & Champagne Parlor.
I was excited to go to Frank’s for a few reasons. Number one is the name. As a Frank, I always appreciate having more of us around. Number two was how much I like Pair. A whimsical restaurant that executes small plate comfort food perfectly. Number three is because of the stuff I read online. Interesting articles about the history and inspiration behind the place. I always like to know the backstory and the history to any place I visit, so it was great to learn more about Frank’s.
We were finally able to visit last week and take in the Frank’s experience. Located a bit north of U-Village on 55th, it’s about five blocks west of its sister restaurant Pair. Frank’s is separated into two sections; one is the Champagne Parlor, the other is the Oyster House. The Champagne Parlor is the bar area of Frank’s and it’s a nice space with fun chairs by the bar. And the bar menu is excellent; lots of great stuff to make you want to imbibe in each one. A nice touch is that all the cocktails are below nine bucks. Not bad considering they use good quality booze with each one. The Oyster House is the dining room and it’s awash in raw wood paneling; it feels much larger than it actually is. We spotted our waiting friends in one of the many booths – not having seen each other for a while, libations and chatter ensued.
The menu features small sharable plates, but also some entrees that deserve attention. They even have steak at decent prices too. We started with the Dungeness Crab Louie Lettuce cups. This was a tasty starter, but I wanted more! With only three cups for the four of us, it seemed a bit lean. The Louie dressing was tasty though and made me want to load up and lick the gravy boat.
Next up were oysters. It is an oyster house after all. For $2 a piece, it’s not a bad deal. And they have three mignonettes to choose from, a nice way to personalize your shooters – we went with the gin & lillet. When we asked what the oysters of the evening were and heard that Kushi was on the menu, I knew that’s what we wanted. But they were sold out of Kushi! I guess the word is getting out – my humble ego surely hopes it’s because of the praise I’ve given Kushi on my blog. But how can an oyster house be sold out of a particular oyster! That said, we decided upon Snow Creek oysters as an alternative, but I was a bit deflated from not getting my Kushi.
I also noticed that they had lobster rolls on the small plates menu. Lobster rolls are a New England staple. I love them and I hope to see more and more of them on the menus around town; it was great to see Frank’s have it. But it wasn’t cheap. At $18 you only get two! They were creamy and delicious, but I wanted more! The balance between value and pleasure is a tough one with restaurants now these days, and with hindsight I wish these lobster rolls were just a little bit larger. I guess they are called mini lobster rolls for a reason.
Entrees. I ordered the seared duck breast with fontina grits, chutney and cracklings. I love duck and I’ll usually order duck when I see it on a menu; I jumped at the chance again. And when it came out, I dove in. The duck was cooked perfectly. Tender, moist and delicious, it was really good. The cracklings were nice and salty (but could’ve been a bit crunchier) and the grits were thick and cheesy. But I polished through that dish in a hurry! Maybe I was super hungry but I really wanted more duck! It was really good and my hunger/greed got the best of me.
I must say that I did appreciate the service at Frank’s. Available but not at all intrusive. They were friendly and informative, and they did a great job of answering our questions. I can see Frank’s being another neighborhood place similar to what they’ve created at Pair because the staff was so welcoming.
My main takeaway with Frank’s is that I wanted more of everything. It’s not a super expensive meal, but it’s not a cheap one either. The food was delicious and I would have no problem recommending it, but my hungry self likes getting full and needs a bit more food.