To Be FRANK

September 7, 2016 by

Once upon a time, in the mystical land of Masterchef, Chefs Jennie Kelley and Ben Starr formed bonds of everlasting friendship while straining under the relentless sweat-spewing, anger machine of Gordon Ramsay (who Ben promises is truly angelic off-screen but we’ll believe it when we see it). Many moons later, Jennie and Ben joined forces and embarked on a new adventure, the creation of Dallas’ most beloved underground restaurant.

What exactly comes to mind when you hear “underground dining experience”? Caves? Bats? A fourth grade flashback of the struggle to remember the difference between stalactites and -mites?

Great news, I’m pretty sure that doesn’t exist and I’ve got a way better replacement. FRANK Underground has been lighting up the Dallas culinary scene since 2012, providing fantastic new dinner menus every month based on funky, creative themes. And although popular themes like Brunch After Dark and Poison have become annual events, the Head Chefs In Charge have never repeated a menu. They focus intensely on sourcing their food locally, and can tell you the the hometown (and probably favorite color) of every hen on the table.

Snagging a seat on the ride involves a bit more effort than a few waves of the OpenTable wand, however. To join the club, so to speak, would-be-diners enter into a mailing list, which is currently clocking in at around 8,000-strong, to be notified of an upcoming weekend’s dinner dates and times. Once that email comes through, respond with your preferred date, time, and party number, and sit with all your fingers and toes crossed for a day or two in hopes that the lottery (and the odds) be ever in your favor.

For this past weekend, Sara and I were lucky enough to snap up a spot at the table, camera in hand, for the first ever “color” theme. Each of the seven courses was based entirely around a single color, covering red, green, orange, white, purple, black, and yellow, oh my! And of course, three delicious wine pairings were offered to accompany the menu, with a sweet Turkish coffee to top off the night. I had dreams about this meal, y’all.

The dishes were overtly Instagrammable and undeniably delicious. The theme was a smashing success, and if I’m not mistaken, will be repeated for two more weekends, so get on that mailing list, like, NOW!

This *itsy bitsy oyster* packed a powerful spicy punch

This *itsy bitsy oyster* packed a powerful spicy punch

May look like lettuce with some green stuff, but it was the cheesiest, most flavor-blasted crunch of Caesar you've ever tasted.

May look like lettuce with some green stuff, but it was the cheesiest, most flavor-blasted crunch of Caesar you’ve ever tasted.

Sara's favorite dish of the night, orange, which included FRANK's famous 63.5 degree egg

Sara’s favorite dish of the night, orange, which included FRANK’s famous 63.5 degree egg along with some TDF chanterelles.

White - a scrumptious cauliflower soup with sweet little scallops swimming around

White – a scrumptious cauliflower soup with sweet little scallops swimming around.

Homemade blueberry ginger lime sorbet (with a little gin kick to get it off the ground) for the palate cleansing win

Homemade blueberry ginger lime sorbet (with a little gin kick to get it off the ground) for the palate cleansing win.

My personal favorite dish - black (like my soul) silky hen piled onto savory lentils and topped with salty, crunchy peppers

My personal favorite – black (like my soul) silky hen piled onto savory lentils and topped with salty, crunchy peppers.

And it was all yellowwwwwww. Thx Coldplay, but thx FRANK for this yummy concoction of cake, fruit, puree, nuts, and just a smidge of mousse. A lil' messy, but a lot worth it.

And it was all yellowwwwwww. Thx Coldplay, but thx FRANK for this yummy concoction of cake, fruit, puree, nuts, and just a smidge of mousse. A lil’ messy, but a lot worth it.

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From left: Addison, Chef Adrian, Chef Ben, Chef Jennie, and Sara

Huge thanks to the FRANK geniuses for letting us peek into their bustling world of creativity and for sharing a seat at their table. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be devising my master plan to snag a seat at one of those Poison dinners in October.

Keep devouring dolls,

Addi

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