Nestled in a converted limestone bank in Williamsburg, just down the block from the famous Peter Lugar, Francie is a Michelin-starred Italian restaurant with a menu inspired by European flavors. The interior of the restaurant feels like glitzy speakeasy, with low, golden lighting and waiters in white blazers. We recently dined at Francie for my mom’s birthday dinner, where we opted to share everything family style so we could all try all the dishes that caught our eyes.
To start we split the Roman Army Sourdough with sunflower spread and whipped lardo and the Souffle Pancakes with seaweed butter, meyer lemon, and caviar. Both of these were incredible starters and I honestly couldn’t pick my favorite of the two. The sunflower spread that came with the sourdough was so good – the perfect combination of savory and salty. The souffle pancakes were fluffy and airy, pairing so well with the salty seaweed butter and caviar.
Next up, we opted to share two pastas: the Conchiglie pasta with clams, bacon, and white sesame pangrattato and the Rigatoni pasta with pumpkin, chanterelle, broccoli di Ciccio, and fennel sausage. Both were fantastic, with the pastas cooked perfectly. But the Conchiglie was my favorite. The creamy and salty sauce with clams and bacon just clung to every piece of conch shaped pasta.
For our main, we decided to split the Dry-Aged Crown of Duck for Two, served with swiss chard, pureed parsnip, and soppressata jam. This dish is listed as for 2, but if you’re ordering other items, it is definitely more than enough. For our party of 4 was able to have about 2-3 servings each of the duck. To help stretch it a bit, our waitress recommended that we also order a side of fries, which were great in helping soak up the delicious duck juice. The duck was absolutely fabulous – cooked to perfection and super flavorful. The pureed parsnip was my favorite side – I love pureed root vegetables in general, but this side was phenomenal.
For dessert, we split the Réglisse de Fraise, or black licorice gelato with strawberries, sunflower praline, and tarragon and the Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding with dates, orange marmalade, and nutmeg ice cream. I came in expecting to hate the réglisse because I hate black licorice, but I was pleasantly surprised. I actually really enjoyed it – the sweet strawberries really highlighted the gelato. The Sticky Toffee pudding was fantastic and the only flaw with it was that there wasn’t more of it!
Service was amazing and I really appreciated our waitress giving us great recommendations on the portion sizes of all the dishes. She really helped make sure we had just the right amount of food. Everything was basically perfect and there wasn’t one dish that we didn’t like – just dishes that we liked more than the others. If you’re even remotely on the fence about trekking out to Williamsburg to dine at Francie, this review is here to tell you go for it!