A collaboration of restaurateur Loic Le Garrec of Petite Robert Bistro and Sandrine Rossi of Joséphine in Kenmore Square created the newest addition to the South End dining scene called Frenchie.
I ventured over to Frenchie’s last Thursday after work to meet an old friend. The space replaces Kitchen and previous to that Pops, both restaurants I actually quite enjoyed but for some reason failed to survive longer than a few years. It’s now Frenchie’s turn to see what they can do.
There is not much change to the layout of the space given how small it is. The place is brighter and lighter with the main dining area now showcasing a long bar, open kitchen and a row of small wooden tables running along the back wall under a neon sign stating IN VINO VERITAS “in wine we trust” – I can agree with that! In typical French bistro fashion, the tables are so close together there is not a chance that anyone sat on the inside is getting up without disrupting their close neighbors. They still have the back room with a glass ceiling for more private dining and in the warmer months they will be opening up their tiny patio.
We started with a glass of wine at the bar. While the list for wines by the glass is limited, in my humble opinion it is flawless in choice. My friend started with a Cabernet while I picked a wonderful Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux.
Their menu asks you to taste, sip, bite and repeat so we did exactly that with many different tastes and a few repeats of wine. They offer a cheese and chacuterie board, cold and hot small plates, plancha and large plates. We were quite prescriptive with our waiter on what we wanted and the order in which we wanted it as their tables are so tiny you could barely have more than two small plates in the center. Out selection was delivered as ordered including an order of croquettes, which we didn’t pick and as much as we kept trying to tell that them they remained on our table so we eventually we just eat them. While they were good, they didn’t wow me.
There were two dishes that did wow me. The first was the octopus. This small plate elegantly partners bites of octopus with eggplant, crunchy chickpeas and aromatic fresh salad. Loved this dish!
The kale salad with a unique blend flavors was brought out next dressed with citrusy vinaigrette.
The next wow dish and my favorite tasting of the evening were the mussels. I don’t think you can go wrong with mussels if they are fresh and you time them right so it really is all about the broth and this broth is superb with salty bites of chorizo. Dip the toast laced with rouille sauce and you can just keep going all night. More toast is probably needed!
Rather than ordering dessert we opted for a cheese and chacuterie board of strong blue cheese, creamy biting brie, speck and duck pate. A deliciously savory ending to a fun night.
While throughout the evening when we had our waiter’s attention, he was wonderfully attentive, it was oftentimes difficult to get his attention due to him running all over the place with multiple tables. Given how new Frenchie’s is I find this absolutely forgivable and I ultimately found the place totally charming and could imagine if I still lived in the South End, I would be a frequent visitor.
Wishing lots of good luck to Frenchie’s Boston!