Food & Drink

New Brasserie Opens Today In Potts Point

France is making a permanent stop in Potts Point.

The highly anticipated modern-day brasserie, Franca, has opened today, Wednesday, 17th July. It’s a personal project for Sydney restauranteur and owner, Andrew Becher, matched with his operating partner and general manager Alex Cameron. The new restaurant is built on the old Fratelli Fresh site and has received a multi-million-dollar transformation by Sydney architect Dirk Anderson.

“It has been a significant undertaking, re-creating and opening this space. We knew it needed to feel different and modern with a real European brasserie feel, but we were also mindful that we needed to respect the integrity of the building and location of the space,” said Andrew Becher.

“We’re excited by what it will bring to the area – a beautifully curated space to enjoy great brasserie food and beverage.”

Alexis Bessau and Andrew Becher. Image: Jennifer Soo

The steaming kitchen is run by executive chef Alexis Bessau, who has run Bathers Pavilion in Mosman and est. restaurant in Sydney. His leadership will be a perfect blend with sous chef Jose Saulog. The menu is designed to span a variety of cities and regions in France and neighbouring Mediterranean coasts, highlighting bold flavours and locally-sourced ingredients, prepared using classic technique.

Think traditional brasserie dishes with a twist. From entrées to mains, guests will be treated to seafood, meat and vegetarian main plates, in addition to a vast array of delicate salads and sides. All ingredients are sourced from local purveyors and a personally curated network of regional farmers.

“While working on the food concept for Franca, we considered global food trends and issues. The further we looked into it, the more defined our food ethos became. Our inspiration is drawn from classic French cooking techniques, using hyper-seasonal ingredients and working at the peak of the seasons. I’m proud to say our menu celebrates great farmers, growers and producers.”

Whirl up your appetite with a Basil eggplant tortellini, finished with a ratatouille consommé ($17) or try Franca’s modern interpretation of the classic tuna nicoise salad, featuring beautiful Yellow Fin Tuna dressed with a colatura dressing, confit heirloom tomatoes, sliced raw baby radishes, and garnished with grated cured egg yolk infused with smoked paprika ($28).

Then satisfy your whirled appetite with one of their standout mains, including the Murray Cod, Broccoli, Celeriac, Blue Swimmer Crab ($39); Spanner Crab Tagliatelle, Basil Oil ($38); and Corn Fed Chicken, Walnut, Butter Lettuce, Jus ($34).

Top it all off with a sweet dessert from head pastry chef Travin Dehoedt, who has worked previously at Bennelong Restaurant in the Sydney Opera House and Bistro Guillaume. Perhaps a Valrhona baked chocolate tart, truffle ice cream, strawberry consommé ($18) or even a reinterpretation of the classic Apple Tarte Tartin – handmade puff pastry, spiced Pink Lady apples, Madagascan vanilla bean ice cream and calvados glaze, made to share ($30).

But lunch and dinner cannot go ahead without a delectable beverage or two. Franca’s sophisticated wine list showcases French, Australian and New Zealand wines with an emphasis on small-production wineries, sustainable producers and a rare selection of aged wines. For those wishing for a fancy dining experience, Franca offers a wonderful array of cocktails that pay tribute to Parisian brasserie culture while flaunting fresh seasonal ingredients. There is also a selection devoted to classic French cocktails.

Browse through the signature cocktail menu to find some wonderful concoctions, including The Artist – homemade red fruit sorbet, livened with coconut-infused Belvedere vodka, citrus and kaffir lime; Puzzle – housemade mandarin shrub shaken with Beefeater 24 gin, Cocchi Americano, lemongrass, lemon and egg whites; and Dessert Phase – Havana 7yo and Rumbullion Spiced Rum, mixed over crushed ice with Demerara syrup, peppermint and Angostura Bitters. All signature cocktails are $20.

Franca is open for dinner from 5:30pm 7 days a week and offers all-day dining Friday – Sunday from midday.

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