A few days before New Year’s Eve in 2018, the Back Bay’s legendary French restaurant, L’Espalier, announced that it was closing on Dec. 31 after 40 years in operation. Or, rather, chef-owner Frank McClelland, who took over the restaurant in 1988, announced that it was closing, telling the Boston Globe that “The lease is up, and I don’t really have the desire to continue to do this and renew.” A new project, he said, was in the works.
That new project is Frank, a market, café, bar, and restaurant that recently debuted across from the commuter rail station in downtown Beverly (while it is currently in soft open, the official opening date is Nov. 15). The all-day gathering place serves coffee, tea, tonics, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches in the morning, with savory sandwiches, soups, and salads available throughout the day — plus sharable plates like lamb meatballs and hummus, and a Frank hamburger featuring raclette cheese, smoked bacon, and housemade hot sauce. There are grab-and-go items available — spiced pumpkin soup, for example, or cauliflower mac and cheese — as well as a curated selection of products that includes wine, tea, and sauces.
For more of a sit-down experience, the 130-seat dining room boasts a sleek bar, where diners can sip on organic wines, local beers, and cocktails. Like the all-day menu, the dinner menu is a reflection of McClelland’s farm-to-table ethos that has been a guiding principle throughout his culinary career. There’s the Cape Ann fisherman bouillabaisse, the seasonal hummus, the haddock with creamed leeks and fingerling potatoes, and the maple chili pork shoulder with Puy lentils and autumn vegetables, plus desserts that range from a warm fruit crostata to crème brûlée.
“At Frank, we are steadfast in our commitment to regional farmers and purveyors,” McClelland said in a press release. “By growing what we eat we are reducing the carbon footprint, by supporting local businesses we are nourishing our community and by eating wholesome food we are sustaining our health and wellness. We hope Frank becomes a part of your daily life.”
Frank; 112 Rantoul St., Beverly; The market: Mondays–Fridays from 7 a.m.–7 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Sundays from 8 a.m.–4 p.m.; The restaurant: Daily 5 p.m.–9 p.m.; The bar: 5 p.m.–11:30 p.m.; farmtofrank.com