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One of the hottest tickets in town, Frances is located, ironically, on a sleepy residential street in the Castro. Chef-owner Melissa Perello's menu of California and French cuisine is well executed, balanced, and notably affordable for the high quality. Bacon beignets, tender gnocchi, and a savory bavette steak are becoming favorites on the seasonally driven menu, while new entries like baked clams with bacon cream and a duck confit and kale salad are angling to become stand-bys as well. An apple galette for dessert hits all the right notes. The small space is simply designed and casual, with a limited number of tables (hence the difficulty in landing a reservation). Service here is both very professional and warm, and there's a small bar area for desperate diners who want to try their luck for a walk-in spot at the counter.
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