Signing a 20-year lease and investing a cool $2.5 million on its fitout, Franca is playing the long game in Potts Point.
One of 2019's most anticipated restaurant openings, Andrew Becher's new brasserie finally fires up the gas on Wednesday in the former site of Fratelli Fresh, in Potts Point.
You can see the care in the detail. Oak tables with brass edging, pink marble, lashings of vintage green leather and dark timbers. Every inch of the Steel and Stitch interior is custom-fitted.
"We're prepared to invest in the community," Becher says.
"The room was inspired by the great brasseries of Europe.
"And while there's French technique to the food, we deliberately called it Franca (after lingua franca) so we wouldn't be pigeonholed. It gives us the breathing space to do a Catalan dish or something from North Africa."
Executive chef Alexis Besseau (Bathers Pavilion and Est.) and sous chef Jose Saulog (Tetsuya's) trot out classics such as bouillabaisse, also offering Franca's version of a nicoise salad featuring yellowfin tuna with a colatura dressing, and served with confit heirloom tomatoes and cured egg yolk infused with smoked paprika.
"We're doing my interpretation of ratatouille, with a basil eggplant tortellini and ratatouille consomme," Besseau says.
The kitchen will lean on former Bistro Guillaume pastry chef Travin De Hoedt for the tail-end of menu, where he'll deliver a Valrhona baked chocolate tart and truffle ice-cream with strawberry consomme.
The departure of Potts Point staples Billy Kwong, Paper Bird and the Fish Shop hasn't deterred Franca's owners.
"We want to be part of the new generation in the area," Becher says.
Open lunch Fri-Sun; dinner daily.
Shop 2, 81 Macleay Street, Potts Point, 0481 977 787, francabrasserie.com.au