Chris Cipollone, the chef who previously worked at Michelin-starred West Village darling Piora is getting ready to debut Francie, a new European brasserie that the chef is opening with former Bâtard co-owner John Winterman.
Located inside the limestone-clad former bank building at 134 Broadway, at Bedford Avenue, Francie will open its doors on Friday for indoor dining, with takeout to follow later in the month. While there isn’t room for outdoor dining because of two fire hydrants on the sidewalk, Francie is forging ahead with the opening after an already months-long delay.
Originally set to debut in April 2020, construction got pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than seven months later, the restaurant is ready to welcome its first customers, and Cipollone says the the menu remains faithful to the original concept conceived prior to the pandemic.
“Nothing on the menu is unapproachable, and it can all translate well to takeout,” says Cipollone.
Divided into seven sections, the menu features items like the market salad ($19), where the greens are tossed with a creamy Italian dressing and black olives; the lasagna ($24) has ingredients that will change seasonally, but for now it includes mushrooms, sunchoke, and black garlic; and a dry-aged duck ($88) that serves two comes with parsnips and soppressata jam, a dish Cipollone describes as “unique and exciting.”
For the drinks menu, Winterman has tapped veteran NYC bartender Marcie Andersen — who previously worked as the head bartender at Daniel — to create classic cocktails like a martini ($22), a sazerac ($20), and Francie’s own take on a New York sour, the Sour Francie ($20), a concoction of bourbon, citrus, egg white, and red wine. There’s also an extensive beer and wine list.
Due to the current restrictions on indoor dining, the restaurant will only seat 30 people inside, though at full capacity it’s able to serve 90 people along with a private dining room that seats 14. Winterman says the interior space has been fitted with UV light in the HVAC system and HEPA filters are placed throughout the socially distanced dining room to make diners feel more comfortable eating indoors.
Francie will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m.