When Posto Pubblico and Linguini Fini first opened in Central, the farm-to-table concept took Hong Kong by storm. Over the years, as Linguini Fini moved spaces, and the group expanded with the opening of Stone Nullah Tavern (which will soon be rebranded into Fini’s), the team behind the fleet of saucy American restaurants is back on the scene to update its presence with Frank’s, a two-storey bar and restaurant on Wyndham Street.
Sitting at the top of Pottinger Street, facing opposite to Tai Kwun, Frank’s welcomes guests with a vintage cocktail bar setting where the dimly-lit space comes alive with an abundance of dark wood counters, high chairs and a Motown classics soundtrack played throughout the evening. A swirling staircase reveals the upstairs dining room, a handsome space adopting the same homely ambience, accented with chestnut brown furnishings and Neapolitan table lamps scattered throughout the room. The best seats in the house are the banquettes overlooking the lengthy stretch of the space, which includes a view into the kitchen action at the end of the room.
If there is one thing about the team behind Posto Pubblico and Frank’s that we can count on, it will be that they’ll nail it when it comes to red sauce American fare, polished and perfected over the years. This expertise is showcased in Frank’s one-page menu, featuring a humble selection of antipasti, pasta, meaty mains and vegetable side dishes. We began our night with the homemade burrata and Sicilian red prawns, the priciest antipasti on the menu at HK$298. The uncooked prawns were cut into thick chunks, scattered across and surrounding a bulging globe of burrata cheese, whose exterior resembled a soft-boiled egg and, when cut, revealed an oozing puddle of thick cream. Having been made in-house, the cheese was creamy and served at just the right temperature. There was no need for additional seasoning, thanks to the accompaniment of the umami-rich red prawns.
The serving size for pasta can be rather generous. Spaghetti and meatballs came highly recommended, but we opted for pappardelle alla vodka instead, with its coral-hue of tomato vodka sauce richly dressing the broad pasta ribbons, dotted with crisp pancetta and rock shrimps. The star, however, was the handful of chopped shiitake mushrooms folded into the sauce, lending an earthy touch to the dish. Ricotta gnudi is well-executed, simply dressed with brown butter and a parmesan cheese sauce and crispy sage leaves. These dumplings were deceptively filling, so we strongly suggest sharing this dish among a larger party.