3 Fleur
Average check per person $15-$25
BreakfastNo Breakfast SundayNo Breakfast MondayNo Breakfast TuesdayNo Breakfast WednesdayNo Breakfast ThursdayNo Breakfast FridayNo Breakfast Saturday
LunchLunch SundayLunch MondayLunch TuesdayLunch WednesdayLunch ThursdayLunch FridayLunch Saturday
DinnerDinner SundayDinner MondayDinner TuesdayDinner WednesdayDinner ThursdayDinner FridayDinner Saturday

Frank’s

French Quarter: 933 Decatur. 504-525-1602. Map.
Casual.
AE DC DS MC V
Website

WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
To the New Orleanian who doesn’t come down to the French Quarter much, Frank’s looks like an opportunistic tourist joint. And like all businesses in the neighborhood of the French Market, visitors are a large part of the clientele. But Frank’s credentials as a real New Orleans Italian restaurant go two generations deep, and eating there is surprisingly good. The place specializes in muffulettas by day, with local Italian standards cooked carefully into the night.

WHAT’S GOOD
In the era when the Central Grocery and Progress Grocery ruled the muffuletta universe, Frank’s kept right up with them–on the same block, yet. Its muffs are still among the best around. At dinner, it’s hard to ignore the aromas of garlic, olive oil, herbs, and tomato sauce. The olfactory promises are fulfilled by big platters (there is no other size here) of pasta, seafood, veal, chicken, and steaks, all wrapped with one of those old-time, Sicilian-inspired, long-cooked, sweet, smooth red sauces. Or Alfredo or aglio olio. It’s all good.

Seafood stuffed mushrooms..

BACKSTORY
Frank Gagliano opened his muffuletta shop on Decatur Street in 1965. The Italian culture still dominated that part of the Quarter, as it had for 75 years. When his sons came of age the operation expanded into a neighborhood-style, full-menu restaurant. One of the brothers left a few years to open his own restaurant–Ristorante Filippo in Metairie.

Frank's dining room..

DINING ROOM
The bottom floor could be anywhere in Italy, with its crammed-in counter, tables, cases of beer, wine racks, and service bar. The setup is to facilitate the sale of muffulettas at lunch. It’s not at all unpleasant for dinner, but upstairs is a nicer room with a balcony overlooking the river. The steepness of that climb keep the more colorful older waiters downstairs, though–and joking around with the waiters is part of the fun. I always stay downstairs.

ONLINE MENU LOCATION

Veal parmigiana..

ESSENTIAL DISHES
Starters
Mussels marinara
Fried crawfish tails
Crawfish cakes, crawfish sauce
»Fried calamari
»Crabmeat stuffed mushrooms
»Stuffed artichoke
Frank’s tossed salad
»»Italian olive salad
»Caprese salad (fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil)
Seafood gumbo
»Corn & crab bisque
»Oyster & artichoke soup
Sandwiches
»»Muffuletta
Hamburger
Poor boys:
»Roast beef
Genoa salami
»Italian sausage
Fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, or stuffed crab
Ferdi (ham, Swiss & roast beef)
Homemade meatball
Ham & Swiss
Veggie
Entrees
Fried shrimp, oysters, catfish, stuffed crab or combo platter
Shrimp or crawfish (or both) Gagliano
»Chicken or veal parmigiana
»Chicken or veal marsala
»Chicken or veal piccata
»Pasta marinara
»Pasta & Italian sausage
Pasta marinara with shrimp
»Pasta & meatballs
Ravioli stuffed with ricotta cheese
Fettuccine alfredo with crawfish or shrimp
Red beans & rice, smoked sausage or ham
Rib-eye steak, baked potato
Filet mignon, baked potato
Desserts
»Cannoli
»Tiramisu

FOR BEST RESULTS
Ask to have the muffuletta unheated. At dinner, ask the waiter what he might be able to get the kitchen to do specially for you. It doesn’t seem that everything they serve is actually on the menu.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
They need to clear away about twenty-five percent of the stuff stacked about the main dining room.

FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.

  • Dining Environment
  • Consistency +2
  • Service+1
  • Value +1
  • Attitude +2
  • Wine & Bar
  • Hipness -2
  • Local Color +3

 

SPECIAL ATTRIBUTES

  • Balcony tables
  • Romantic
  • 25-75
  • Open Sunday lunch and dinner
  • Open Monday lunch and dinner
  • Open most holidays
  • Open till 11:30 p.m.
  • Open all afternoon
  • Historic
  • Unusually large servings
  • Quick, good meal
  • Good for children
  • No reservations

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