Franca’s name is derived from lingua franca, a word for a common language used by speakers of different native tongues that helps them bridge cultural divides.
Executive chef Alexis Besseau (Bathers’ Pavilion, Est) and sous chef Jose Saulog (Glass Brasserie, Tetsuya’s) have created a menu that reflects that idea: twisting and turning its way through regional France and nearby Mediterranean coastal havens such as parts of Italy.
A good example of that is the nicoise salad, here interpreted as yellow fin tuna sashimi dressed with a colatura (anchovy sauce) dressing, confit heirloom tomatoes and garnished with grated cured egg yolk and smoked paprika.
Staff in pale linen busy themselves as sunlight filters through lightly draped bay windows. Jazz fills the air as guests enjoy meals from velvet chairs surrounded by walls of art.
There’s a big vino list, about 200 wines from Australia, New Zealand and France’s key regions, including some interesting options from the Jura. Cocktails are by award-winning Alex Raclet (Rockpool Group, Pelicano). We like his Trocadero, made with Beefeater 24 gin infused with Earl Grey, Campari, Italicus Bergamot, lemon oil and garnished with basil.