Personal reinvention is best when done slowly. (Exhibits A, B, and C: the tramp stamp, heavy fringe, and nose stud that seemed like genius ideas at the time.)
Witness chef Melissa Perello, who headed up the city’s finest establishments as a twentysomething and opens Frances, her very own not-so-fancy neighborhood restaurant, on Tuesday (after a three-year hiatus).
The classy but cozy spot (just between the Castro and Noe Valley) has walnut tables, cream walls, and simple accents like black and white prints.
The menu is straight-up Cali comfy, too, with a rotating selection of bouchées (little apps) like apple wood-smoked bacon beignets or crisp red kuri squash with Meyer lemon and spiced aioli. Larger plates include pork confit with Brussels sprouts, rugosa squash, and mustard jus. Two custom-blended house wines are served on tap.
Of course, Perello’s pedigree means it’ll open with no small amount of hype.
And quite the bang.
Frances, 3870 17th Street, at Pond Street (415-621-3870 or frances-sf.com).
Photo: Vanessa Yap-Einbund / Courtesy of Frances