Potts Point's elegant French bistro with steak frites, whole rock lobster and 250 wines.
Potts Point has seen many restaurants and bars come and go in its time, with upscale digs moving into sites previously home to the dives of The Cross's colourful yesteryear. Taking over the former home of Fratelli Fresh, Franca arrived with the area's move towards becoming more residential (and increasingly affluent). It's one of the many elegant-yet-casual eateries (see: Cho Cho San, Ms.G's and Ezra) that has sprung up in the area since its vast transformation — and certainly one of its best.
With its moniker derived from lingua franca — a common language adopted by those whose native languages are different, historically a mix of Italian, French, Greek, Arabic and Spanish — Franca takes cues from all corners of the Mediterranean, though it leans heavily on France.
The menu features reinvented French classics, be it a niçoise salad with sashimi-style tuna or duck a l'Orange.
For entrees, expect king crab rolls with cocktail sauce, heirloom beetroot and stracciatella tarts and pan-fried mushroom and goats cheese gnocchi. For mains, there are seasonal dishes alongside 250-gram sirloin steak frites, Murray cod with crispy potatoes and kmbu crumb and more extravagant sharing plates like whole rock lobster or a lamb rack with roasted eggplant, pistachio caramel and mint jus.
Dessert includes silky chocolate and caramel brulée with Little Marionette coffee ice cream, pillowy passionfruit soufflé with popcorn ice cream and a fresh lemon tart with creme fraiche.
As well as the a la carte menus, the restaurant also has a dedicated vegan offering, with lunch options like the Franca wagyu burger and two set menus: Signature and L'Aristocrate.
The cocktail list features European classics made with local ingredients, such as the Spring Bellini made with Chandon Blanc de Blancs NV, strawberry and pear puree and sage; or the Noble Cut Negroni combining Young Henrys Noble Cut Gin, Campari, strawberry dolin blanc and lemon myrtle. A 250-strong wine list focuses on labels from across France, Australia and New Zealand.
Located on the ground floor of Macleay Street's Ikon building, Franca looks wildly different to its predecessor Fratelli Fresh. Extensive renovations in the lead-up to its opening were led by Steel and Stitch, the design firm behind some of Sydney's top hospo fit-outs, including Potts Point's Chula and the city's Havana-inspired Lobo Plantation, with the space home to spacious leather booths, red velvet chairs, an open wine cellar and lots of marble details.
Franca Brasserie has been named in Concrete Playground's Best Restaurants in Sydney. Check out the full list for 15 Sydney spots that should be at the top of your must-try list.
Venue images: Jennifer Soo
Updated Tuesday, March 21, 2023.
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