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May 20, 2010 07:41 AM

Frank's Kitchen

There is a new place on College at Clinton Street called Frank's Kitchen. The chef was at Centro for many years and recently worked with Marc Thuet. All breads are made in house and come with an olive spread and roasted red pepper spread. We started off with an amuse of Gazpacho soup that was refreshing and tasty. The Heirloom Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella salad was one of the best I have had in years with the perfect amount of tomatoes, cheese, shredded basil, olive oil and balsamic. My husband had the Crisp Gorgonzola Gnocchi with Pancetta and I had the Lobster Ravioli. I was told by our server that all pastas are made in house daily which is apparent from the first bite to the last! The even go so far as giving you a little sorbetto on a spoon as a palate cleanser before your next course. The St. Jacob's Pork 3 ways is another must try and well as the lamb loin which is cooked a perfect medium rare. Wine is list is small but growing consisting of popular brands such as Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and McMannis Cabernet Sauvignon. The recently added the Tawse Echos Riesling from Niagara which has great acidity will pair with most of the appetizers on the menu.

If you are looking for amazing food, service and atmosphere, Frank's Kitchen truly has all 3 and is very reasonably priced so it truly can be your home away from home!

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  1. I love this place. Haven't been for dinner yet but twice for private parties with apps coming out regularly. Lobster Tacos were amazingly light and clean. Cured meats were well executed with a good variety of interesting cheeses and the fresh breads put it over the top. Great oysters with condiments done simply but well (added touch of covering the lemons in cheesecloth so when you squeeze them the juice goes where it should and the pips are not an issue...small thing but there were lots of these that made the experience memorable).

    I am really looking forward to going back and trying the full menu. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable. The bartender mentioned that she used to work with Frank and told him that whenever he opened his own place to give her a call cause he was a great guy and fun to work for...bodes well for the future.

    Probably never going to be a destination resto but could be one of those neighbourhood gems that keep people full and happy for a long time to come.

    2 Replies
    1. re: downtownfoodie

      Let me add my voice to those signing the praises of this place. I went in the very first night they were running their full menu (which could have been a major yikes) and it was a delight start to finish. The fact that it is right around the corner from my house is an added bonus!

      And yes, the lobster tacos are a standout!

      1. re: scrummy

        I wholeheartedly concur. We went last night and were duly impressed. Everything from the freshly prepared bread through the house made charcuterie and pasta dishes to the mains (definitely recommend the pork 3 ways) was excellent. The pricing is very reasonable. The portion sizes aren't huge, but that is just fine with me. Small but good wine list with some available by the glass, again not too expensive. When I get round to it, will link to my blog post. Thanks for the recs. Chowhound always work for me.

    2. Heard about this place a few weeks back, been interested in trying it out. Went last Friday, it was quite good. Table of 4, everyone enjoyed their food. We started with the 6 oyster appatizer, came loaded with fresh horseradish, lemon, cocktail sauce, (insert sauce I forgot here), and the chefs creation of chili ginger (looked like pickeled gigner, interesting idea). The mains were, 1 risotto, 1 gnocchi, 1 lobster ravioli, and the grilled chicken. Everyone enjoyed their meals, I had the lobster ravioli, and my only complaint was the red onion was a bit over powering, other then that the lobster, whilst subtle, was present, tender, and tasty in each little package. The mains took a while, so inbetween our appitizer, we were first brought a boiled quials egg ontop of tomato, cucumber, with truffle oil, and a cucumber avacdo gispachio. We were also brought a basil sorbet. Both were quite tasty. The fresh made breads were also good. The excellent food, paired with great, helpfull, knowledgeable, and tentive service, this was one of the better dinning experiences I've had in a long time.

      2 Replies
      1. re: timmychanga

        Looking forward to trying this place. Sounds great!
        Anyone know who the chef is?
        Do they take reservations or do you have to wait like so many new places today?
        Love College Street in the summer.
        Must go soon.

        College Street Bar
        574 College St, Toronto, ON M6G1B3, CA

        1. re: froglegs

          Yeah the Chef is Frank (something) who worked at Centro before. They do take reservations. Call well ahead, I called same day and barly landed a table.

          2472 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4P 2F5, CA

      2. prices anyone?

        reasonable to some might not be reasonable to others. the menu doesn't sound innovative but it sounds like earnest food, so at the right price point it could be enticing for non-locals.

        4 Replies
        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          Can't remember specifics but without much booze you can easily fill up for <40pp.

          The chef is Frank (shocking, I know, lol) Pharizan (sp?). Again I'm a little hazy on the details (we didn't go light on the booze...) but I know he spent time at Centro and some other well respected places.

          1. re: pinstripeprincess

            Prices are reasonable for what it is. Apps I think were around 9-16$, pastas from 17-21$, and mains from 20-26$, or in that ball park anyway. I don't recall the dessert prices. Keep in mind though, the portions arent that big.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              Tuesday and Wednesday they have a Prix Fixe for $28. Tonight it was a starter of shrimp tempura and greens, then a 6 oz. striploin steak with house made crispy gnocchi in gorgonzola sauce, and a pear strudle for dessert.
              My companion and I wanted to try other things on the menu so I can't comment on the Prix Fixe content, but it seemed popular with those at other tables who had ordered it.
              We had 2 cocktails, a bottle of red, and two after dinner drinks, plus three food courses each and the bill with a 25% tip (WELL DESERVED) was about $260.
              The service is very warm and attentive, the chef and his wife are obviously passionate about what they are doing here and they deserve to do well.
              I had the pork 3 ways, and it was delicious, but I also had the antipasto platter beforehand which was 90% pork product. I was hoping for the amazing veggie centred type of antipasta platter that Zucca does. So I chose badly - too much pork.
              The molten chocolate dessert was a little heavy and chalky for my taste.
              The house made breads are exceptional - I wish Frank would open a bakery!! If you can't afford even the Prix Fixe, just sit at the bar and have a glass of wine order their bread platter with their house made spreads and tapenades - the crispy bottommed foccacia in particular is stunning, studded with cloves of roast garlic, cherry tomatoes and other goodies I was too greedily guzzlying down to identify!
              I loved that the food was not salty. I'll definitely be going back.

              1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                Can you clarify with the Prix Fixe, whether or not there are choices (as with the 'Licious events), or is it a set menu?

                Also, in lieu of a website, does anyone have a photo of the menu?

            2. Need some recommendations on a place in the same category as Frank's Kitchen for a dinner with eight people, all foodies. We tried Frank's but they can't accommodate on the day we want to go. Could go west or south.

              4 Replies
              1. re: zoehitstheroad

                We were a party of four last night. Really enjoyed our meal and evening and love the look and feel to the resto. Service was very good considering how busy the place was.

                Tuna tartare starter was huge and very nice. Maybe could have had a little more punch to it but that's just me. Main was the artic char which I thoroughly enjoyed. Served with a little crab cake type thing and one perfect scallop in a thermadour sauce. Hubby had pork 3 ways which he said was very good also.

                Like others have mentioned, they certainly don't skimp on the amuse buche. We were given oysters rockefeller, pea shooters, and one other on a spoon. As well as the intermesso. Very nice bread basket too, made in house.

                Great value. Our bill for two came to $210 which included a shared desert and very nice bottle of Pepolli Chianti.

                I'd go back!

                1. re: millygirl

                  Great to hear! I'm going next weekend so, looking forward to it.

                  1. re: millygirl

                    Hi! I can't find their website, do you know if they have one?

                    1. re: East of Yonge

                      No website but they are on twitter (though haven't tweeted since November 1st):

                      BTW: I had a great meal there. Shared Oysters Rockefeller & the Arugula Salad. I had the Gnocchi w/ Pancetta & Gorgonzola & my friend had the Chicken. Those, on top of the House-made Breads, Amuse & Sorbet, were filling enough. The dessert may have been the only weak spot (warm chocolate cake, kinda bland, wanted more gooeyness) but with a glass of wine each (and tea), the bill was very reasonable (though can't recall exact amount now, 3 weeks later). I would definitely go back since there are a number of dishes I would want to try - like the pork 3 ways and more pasta.

                2. Four of us went for dinner last night, and while both service and food were top notch from start to finish, I have to say that we found the complimentary "extras" almost overwhelming.

                  Here's what we were served, with a * next to the extras:

                  * bread plate
                  * goat cheese fritter w/ salsa
                  * soup shooter
                  * lemon sorbet w/ basil
                  * beignets
                  * chocolate truffles

                  As I said above, everything we were served was excellent, and the comped food added value to what was already quite a reasonably priced meal for the quality ($315 incl tax & tip, with a bottle of wine, a beer, and 4 coffee on top of the food). It just seemed like a little TOO much - especially the beignets, which they apparently serve with coffee even if you've also ordered dessert.

                  Buy hey, at least we all left feeling nice and full, which isn't the case at some restaurants in town, so I suppose I shouldn't complain too much... ;)

                  Oh, and for those who mentioned above that they're looking for a website - it's although it is just a redirect to thier Dine.TO page.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: gregclow

                    Wow! Thats amazing value. Thanks for posting.