Frank’s Italian American to Open in Prime Two-Story Location in Central
A Casual Red Sauce Bar and Restaurant Inspired by New Jersey’s
Italian American Dining Scene
Frank’s Italian American, a red sauce bar and restaurant, will open on Wyndham Street this month. Spanning a rare two stories at the lively junction of Wyndham Street, Arbuthnot Road and Hollywood Road, Frank’s will offer two very different, yet equally impressive experiences between ground and first floor.
The heartfelt establishment is inspired by owner Todd Darling’s early career in northern New Jersey. It pays tribute to Frank Amen — a legendary local restaurateur and personal mentor to whom Darling attributes his unique brand of ‘welcome home’ hospitality.
A sister bar and restaurant to Hong Kong institutions like Posto Pubblico and Linguini Fini, Frank’s promises to deliver the same brand of exceptional familial hospitality that has charmed the group’s loyalists for the past decade. Reinforced by a noteworthy cocktail offering, a kitchen helmed by Spotted Pig, Locanda Verde and Rouge Tomate alum Chef Darnell Fields and an all-vinyl soul soundtrack, Frank’s is set to be one of the most compelling establishments to launch in Hong Kong this year.
Downstairs, the bar is a setting reminiscent of a grocery unchanged for generations, in which guests will be able order expertly crafted, yet unfussy cocktails, as well as a selection of antipasti inspired by Southern Italian street food. Delicious snacks like a revolving selection of Suppli, breaded and deep-fried croquettes fashioned from beloved pasta dishes, impossibly light golden Fried Anchovies and traditional six-inch Italian-American Bar Pizzas made with hand crushed tomatoes, basil, olive oil and garlic, are perfect partners for the neat selection of classic libations. The casual set-up plays to renowned Prohibition-era bartender Harry Craddock’s straight-shooting approach to enjoying a cocktail: that it should be consumed “quickly, while it’s still laughing at you.” At Frank’s, drinks will be exceptionally made, quick to drink and easy on the pocket.
Upstairs, the unpretentious dining room is inspired by the unofficial backrooms of family-owned establishments in New York and New Jersey; spaces in which to entertain friends and loved ones in private. The humble space is punctuated with vintage Neapolitan table lamps and backed by a soundtrack of jazz, soul and blues, all played off of first-press vinyl records.
Fields will serve up gutsy seasonal dishes that expand on red sauce culinary traditions and are prepared according to season. At Frank’s, classic Italian American Zuppa di Mare is elevated with a magnificent whole red lobster, cherrystone clams, plump scallops and whole filets of fish complete with perfectly crisp pan-fried skins, all cooked in a rich sauce of lobster shells and fish bones that has taken hours to reduce. The Chicken Parm, similarly, will not be for the fainthearted. A half bird is painstakingly deboned and pounded, skin, fat and all, before being fried, then topped with Frank’s homemade mozzarella and tomato sauce, and finally finished in the oven.
Welcome-home hospitality, first-class cocktails, great food, and a mood-lifting vinyl soundtrack of blues, soul, jazz and hip hop, are sure to establish Frank’s as the go-to venue for a laid-back boozy meal that runs well into the night.