Frank’s Oyster House & Champagne Parlor

January 25th, 2009 by Eric

We’ve enjoyed many dinners at our neighborhood restaurant Pair over the past few years.  Owners Sarah and Felix Penn opened their second restaurant Frank’s this month, just a few blocks away from Pair, so we stopped in for dinner on their first Friday night to see what the new place is all about.


Dark wood paneling, soft lighting, and high-backed booths give a relaxed, low-key vibe to the restaurant.  We were seated on the Oyster House side of the restaurant, opposite the tall doorway that leads to the Parlor and bar.  I’m glad I made a reservation, because they were full by 7PM and turning people away.  We had a hard time deciding between all of the tasty-sounding options on the cocktail and dinner menus, but we finally agreed on a few things to share.  Dawn sampled an Air Mail cocktail (lime, honey, rum, champagne) while I went for the Pear & Cardamom Sidecar (a nice twist on the classic drink).

Our plate of buttery and flaky cheddar biscuits with ham arrived first, with a small ramekin of Calvados apple butter on the side.  It was a tasty, homey dish, and I’d buy jars of that apple butter to go if they were for sale.  Next up were two mini lobster rolls, served on house-made hot dog buns, with a butter lettuce leaf tucked in.  As Sarah explained, the lobster is served Cape Cod style (mixed simply with mayonnaise), sans celery as you might find in some parts of Maine.  These definitely felt like fancy lobster rolls, with a subtle grill flavor in the slightly crunchy bread, more haute than what you’d find on the roadside in Maine.  Quite tasty, but also quite pricey at $9 a roll.

Dawn tried the chard and ricotta pansotti (a triangular-shaped stuffed pasta), and it was nice and rich – a decent vegetarian option.  I loved my filet mignon with horseradish parsley butter.  The steak was cooked to a perfect medium rare, melt-in-your-mouth tender, with deep flavor.  Easily one of the best steaks I’ve had in the past few years, and a great value compared to any of the pricey steakhouses around town.  With a side of creamed kale to go with it, I was in heaven.

Filet mignon with horseradish parsley butter

For dessert, we shared caramelized bananas with three ice creams.  The presentation was interesting, with the ice creams served in a single stack of round discs, but when I took a bite with all three, they just didn’t go together.  Each had a different consistency (one was soft, two were hard), and the chocolate ice cream didn’t have a smooth texture (slightly crystallized, like it didn’t freeze properly).  The bananas were good, but overall this dish didn’t impress me.

As to be expected during opening week, there were a few hiccups during the evening.  It was a full twenty minutes before our waitress came over to our table to even say hello (we were starting to think about leaving), and when she arrived, she apologetically told us that she had forgotten about us.  While I’m sure that’s the honest truth, it’s not the greatest thing to hear as a customer.  It also felt like we were re-forgotten after every course during the evening, with long waits the norm.  Our favorite moment was when our waitress came by and asked, “Has anyone dessert’d you yet?”  Well, no, no one has taken our dessert order, but yes we have been deserted!  It looked like the staff was in the weeds on this first busy evening, so I’m sure they’ll straighten things out.  I’m eager to go back to try some oysters, the razor clam fritters, and another one of those steaks!

Frank’s Oyster House & Champagne Parlor
2616 NE 55th St, Seattle

Frank's Oyster House & Champagne Parlor on Urbanspoon

50 Responses to “Frank’s Oyster House & Champagne Parlor”

  1. Anticiplate says:

    Erik and I love this restaurant! We didn’t try the ham biscuits, but we will save that for next time. We had the deviled eggs, the burger, and the pork. The dessert (we ordered the same as you) was phenomenal. I am so happy a delicious restaurant is so close to us:)

  2. Eric says:

    Nice! Oh yes, the goat cheese deviled eggs are also on my list – Catherine was raving about them this weekend. Would you recommend the burger?

  3. matt wright says:

    Just the kind of place I want in walking distance to my house. I haven’t been to Pair, but walk past it all the time (it is next to a great toy shop). Lovely write up.

  4. Anticiplate says:

    I WOULD recommend the burger. Elegant, and simple with wonderful flavors. Doesn’t sound much like a description of a burger, but it was great.

  5. Kye says:

    I enjoyed the deviled eggs (loved the crispy salty fried leeks on top) and razor clam fritters. But the cocktails were a bit weak for me.

  6. Junny says:

    I just went to Frank’s two days ago for the second time and it’s incredibly delicious every time! The pansotti was to die for! Not too creamy and hit just the right spot. :) The deviled eggs (as everyone has already mentioned) is something I will probably get every time I go to the restaurant, as well as the fingerling potatoes with creme fraiche, bacon, scallions. A few other things I’ve tried are the biscuits with apple butter, the filet mignon, the oysters on the half shell, and the house made potato chips (SO GOOD!), and I can’t say I was disappointed with any of them. I would definitely recommend this restaurant. I’m thinking I definitely have to go to Pair and see what they’re all about as well!

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