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Downstairs, the bar is a setting reminiscent of a grocery unchanged for generations, in which guests will be able order expertly crafted, yet unfussy cocktails, as well as a selection of antipasti inspired by Southern Italian street food. Delicious snacks like a revolving selection of Suppli, breaded and deep-fried croquettes fashioned from beloved pasta dishes, impossibly light golden Fried Anchovies and traditional six-inch Italian-American Bar Pizzas made with hand crushed tomatoes, basil, olive oil and garlic, are perfect partners for the neat selection of classic libations. The casual set-up plays to renowned Prohibition-era bartender Harry Craddock’s straight-shooting approach to enjoying a cocktail: that it should be consumed “quickly, while it’s still laughing at you.” At Frank’s, drinks will be exceptionally made, quick to drink and easy on the pocket.
Upstairs, the unpretentious dining room is inspired by the unofficial backrooms of family-owned establishments in New York and New Jersey; spaces in which to entertain friends and loved ones in private. The humble space is punctuated with vintage Neapolitan table lamps and backed by a soundtrack of jazz, soul and blues, all played off of first-press vinyl records.
Fields will serve up gutsy seasonal dishes that expand on red sauce culinary traditions and are prepared according to season. At Frank’s, classic Italian American Zuppa di Mare is elevated with a magnificent whole red lobster, cherrystone clams, plump scallops and whole filets of fish complete with perfectly crisp pan-fried skins, all cooked in a rich sauce of lobster shells and fish bones that has taken hours to reduce. The Chicken Parm, similarly, will not be for the fainthearted. A half bird is painstakingly deboned and pounded, skin, fat and all, before being fried, then topped with Frank’s homemade mozzarella and tomato sauce, and finally finished in the oven.
Welcome-home hospitality, first-class cocktails, great food, and a mood-lifting vinyl soundtrack of blues, soul, jazz and hip hop, are sure to establish Frank’s as the go-to venue for a laid-back boozy meal that runs well into the night.