The Three Faces of Frances
Daily Changing Menu
The food at Frances changes daily. It reflects what chef Melissa Perello gathers from local markets, farms, and purveyors with whom she's developed personal relationships. Because of this ever-changing nature, the menu here is truly simple—it's broken into only four categories: appetizers, entrees, sides, and bouchées (small, tapas-style plates). In the past, the entree section has listed everything from Monterey black cod to chicken roulade with brown-butter vinaigrette.
House Wine by the Ounce
Frances' beverage director, Paul Einbund, blends all of the restaurant's house wines at a nearby winery before bringing them over in kegs and serving them on tap. The staff then delivers them to tables in elegant 16- or 20-ounce carafes, which are marked in 2-ounce increments so diners only pay for what they drink. A word of warning: don't get too attached to any one house wine, as Paul's blends change frequently to complement the menu and season.
Functional, Intimate Space
Tucked away in a residential slice of Castro, Frances squeezes every bit it can out of the space it occupies. Less than 50 seats are available, and most are on a bench that runs along the outer wall. There's also a 10-seat countertop in the bar section that’s available on a first-come, first-served basis. To separate these two areas, a partition, which doubles as a functioning wine rack, divides the restaurant down the middle. Such limited space means that the largest party Frances can typically accommodate is four.