Note: Frank’s steakhouse closed in early 2008. An inconvenient location, mediocre food, and the arrival of far better steakhouses nearby, finally doomed the place.
Frank’s, an Italian steakhouse, has been in business in southwest Chelsea since 1912. It recently (per the website) moved to 16th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, a bit closer to the Meatpacking District / Chelsea Market action.
It’s pretty tough to imagine a restaurant more empty than Frank’s was last night. I believe there were three tables occupied, including ours. Perhaps there were a couple of guys hanging out at the bar, and watching the Yankees’ game on two large flat-panel TV screens. It’s a big space, and it’s hard to see how they can survive, if this is at all typical.
I ordered the “Lamb Chop” ($32), which actually was three smallish chops. They were cooked competently, medium rare as I ordered them, but came with no condiments, and for the price I thought it was a modest portion. My friend ordered the braised veal shank ($28), which was an enormous portion partially overcooked. The appealing bread service came with a bowl of antipasto and a tasty crumble of bleu cheese.
I hate it when the waitstaff try to sell you side dishes, and neglect to mention that your entrées already come with vegetables. One never knows for sure at these quasi-steakhouse restaurants. My lamb came with hand-cut potatoes, broccoli, and carrots. My friend’s veal came with a helping of rice that could have fed the whole Meatpacking District. Yet, our server mentioned nothing when we ordered a side of asparagus ($10) on top of all this.
Service was a tad slow, especially for a place that was practically empty, and therefore had no excuse.
Frank’s (410 W. 16th St. between Ninth & Tenth Avenues, Southwest Chealsea)