Frank's Kitchen, full of surprises from start to finish
By Jim Bamboulis
December 30, 2010
To enter Frank's Kitchen on College Street is to enter centre stage. You're the star of the show. Welcomed, pampered and treated like an A-list celebrity from start to finish. From one of the most personable and attentive wait-staff in recent memory to the incredibly comfortable setting to the delicious meals, Frank's Kitchen is clearly the talk of Little Italy.
Even on a cold Tuesday evening, Frank's long, cozy and romantic, brick exposed dining room is all abuzz. Add the soothing sounds o
f Louis Armstrong playing in the background, and it only adds more to the already positive energy in the room.
At Frank's Kitchen, exceptional service is equally complimented by Chef Frank Parhizgar's philosophy of exceptional freshness and quality. Breads and pastas are made daily in-house and all pasta is hand-rolled.
Although this results in spectacular dishes time and again, the road to the mains has a few pleasant surprises along the way. The amuse bouche, brioche, crispy epi and a still-warm and soft focaccia sprinkled with basil and stuffed with a cherry tomato add to the experience.
The Seafood Cocktail ($15) with shrimp, crab and lobster is presented on a block of ice the size of your forearm. Served with a vodka and avocado cocktail sauce, it's fresh, invigorating and delicious. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Mozzarella ($14) with roasted tomato and red pepper with cured black olives in an aged balsamic and extra virgin olive oil is a colourful and flavourful multi-layered tower of summery goodness. A small spoonful of lime sorbet to cleanse the palate takes the dining level up a few more notches.
Signatures include Lobster Ravioli ($19) in a basil, olive oil and fresh tomato broth. Perfectly al dente, the stuffed lobster offers a cool, exotic twist to a dish rich in Mediterranean-inspired flavours. Crispy Gnocchi ($16) in a gorgonzola cream sauce with pancetta is rich, hearty, yet balanced and perfectly filling.
With the minor and major details covered well, Frank's Kitchen is a clear winner every step of the way.
Price: Dinner for 2 with tax and tip, $100-$120
Atmosphere: Classy yet casual and comfortable
Wheelchair Access: No
Surprise, Surprise: Small touches make all the difference. Look for fresh Epi and focaccia breads.
FIVE STARS: (Extraordinary) A one-of-a-kind, world-class experience.
FOUR STARS: (Excellent) Superior. Memorable, high-quality menus and/or savvy service.
THREE STARS: (Good) Solid places that beckon with generally appealing cooking.
TWO STAR: (Fair) Just OK. A place not worth rushing back to. But, it might have something worth recommending.
ONE STAR: (Poor) Below-average restaurant.
*Reviews are meant to describe a dining out experience at a given period in time and are the personal opinion of the writer.
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