What is Frankie: Located on Grove between Montgomery and York, Frankie is downtown’s newest restaurant specializing in Australian-inspired eats and natural wine.
Interior: Soft colors, exotic patterns, and a touch of Polynesian decor give Frankie one of the most laid back atmospheres of any downtown restaurant. Toward the center of the dining room, you’ll find the restaurant’s U-shaped bar, where knowledgeable bartenders will craft you one of Frankie’s special cocktails or give you the lowdown on their extensive wine list. A private room on the second floor can be used for special dinners and/or events.
The Menu: From Fish N’ Chips to a vegetarian Tortellini, the menu at Frankie effortlessly blends Australian classics with traditional modern fare. For a hearty meal, the Bangers & Mash won’t disappoint. If you prefer a meatless entree, you can choose from a Veggie Burger, Ricotta Tortellini, or Zucchini Noodle in Curry Vinnaigrette. Prices range from $11 to $16 for small plates to $13 to $18 for main entrees. Also impressive is the wine list, which contains natural wines from Europe and Australia.
We Loved: You cannot visit Frankie without trying the Fish N’ Chips. The fish is crisp, crunchy, and brittle enough that it practically explodes with every bite you take. We also love that the batter is thin and light, rather than being a thick, oily coating. The accompanying lemongrass tartar sauce is the perfect sidekick to an already great dish. On the vegetarian side, both the Chickpea Ricotta Tortellini in Coconut Sauce and the Zucchini Noodles with Curry Vinaigrette are light and flavorful options when you want something that’s not heavy. The Bangers & Mash (aka sausages and mash) is soul-warming comfort food at its best. The dish is simple, yet hearty and the onion gravy offers a bit of tang that pairs nicely with the brats and mashed potatoes. Finally, the Flatbread is perfectly grilled and you can pair it with a variety of dips. Also, get the Tim Tam milkshake. You won’t regret it.
Could Be Better: We love the decor at Frankie, but the chairs are a bit odd, so you’ll want to lean back to keep your balance. Serving sizes are a bit on the small side, especially on the pasta dishes. We’d love to see a few more classic Australian dishes on the menu along with some $30+ wine bottle options (the reds in particular are almost all priced $40+). More dessert options are always welcome.
Final Take: With a strong focus on fresh ingredients and natural wines, Australian-inspired Frankie is a great addition to the downtown dining scene while maintaining its own unique flair. The menu is diverse enough to satisfy everyone (from meat eaters to vegetarians) and the lively atmosphere is one of the best you’ll find in Jersey City.
Frankie | 264 Grove Street | www.frankieeatsjc.com