Where to: Frank, former L’Espalier chef Frank McClelland’s new project in Beverly.
Why: To see what the next chapter looks like for the chef, who ran one of Boston’s finest restaurants for decades.
The Back Story: McClelland was instrumental in bringing the farm-to-table movement to Boston. Now the Essex resident is continuing that work closer to home, using vegetables, meat, fish, and grains from North Shore producers. After closing L’Espalier in 2018, he is ready to relax a little, Type A chef-style. On the one hand, with Frank he steps away from some of the rigors of fine dining. On the other hand, it is an all-day restaurant/cafe/market. There aren’t seven-course tasting menus, but the food here still aims for perfection, albeit a breezier sort.
What to Eat: In the morning, there are almond croissants, buttermilk biscuits, breakfast sandwiches, and yogurt with granola. Lunch brings well-conceived salads (e.g. sweet potato, charred romaine, smoked tomatoes, and blue cheese), soups (spiced pumpkin, beef-lentil-kale) served with a square of springy house-made focaccia, and sandwiches. The fried buttermilk chicken version is a clear favorite, judging from the number being delivered to tables, but don’t miss a mash of avocado, egg, feta, and spiced tomato relish on ciabatta, a riot of good flavors (plus, house-made potato chips). You can take home the likes of cauliflower mac and cheese, lemony roast half-chickens, short ribs, and pints of ice cream (honey-nut squash and Fluff) from the market. The dinner menu manages to be both homey and sophisticated: bread service with evergreen butter and togarashi honey; mussels in coconut curry; sweet potato agnolotti with porcini mushrooms and garlic cream; Cape Ann fisherman bouillabaisse; duck confit with cider-braised cabbage and wheat berries; a fat burger topped with raclette, hot-sauce mayonnaise, and tomato-bacon jam. For dessert: goat cheese cake, sticky toffee pudding, baklava pie, and more.
What to Drink: Bubbles from Spain, white wine from Greece, German blaufränkisch, and a few local beers on tap. A roster of coffee drinks, fancy teas, and chai variations, plus sumac jasmine kombucha with turmeric honey. Wine and beer are for sale in the market, too.
The Takeaway: Frank is a serious restaurant serving relaxed and appealing food made with local ingredients. It feels like L’Espalier on vacation in a coastal town.
110 Rantoul St., Beverly, 978-998-4946, www.farmtofrank.com