Franks Bar and Restaurant on First Ave Sawtell is hard to miss. Vibrant atmosphere, music and people spilling out from the double shopfront into the street. Open just 5 weeks Franks Bar Restaurant has been well recieved.
The restaurant features cosy booth seating and an Art Deco decor. The fitout is what you would expect from an upmarket 1940’s bar. It feels like stepping back in time. Framed black and white Frank Sinatra images are hung on the white panel walls. The wall mounted lighting provides atmosphere to the booths.
It was standing room only at the long, dark wood bar. The Bartenders were busy mixing up cocktails as the crowd were taking full advantage of the 4-6pm happy hour. I heard a whisper Max, the bartender, was poached from an iconic Melbourne bar??? He was certainly producing some stunning cocktails.
Whilst I was definitely having a cocktail, I ordered the fresh house made lemonade for the children. It was deliciously lemony and sweet. When I asked how it was made I was told they made a lemon syrup and added soda water and ice to serve. The children loved it!
I had been taking some pics so when I returned to the table to see Brett had ordered a beer I was curious to know what it was. He told me it was Frank’s own Sawtell Ale. I was skeptical.
“What do you mean it’s Frank’s beer?” I asked.
He told me the waitress said it’s a beer they brew themselves. Hmm, really… really, I couldn’t imagine the were making a home-brew and flaunting licensing laws by bootlegging it through the bar…
Knowing my dear husband has a tendency to only hearing every third of forth word said in a conversation I decided to check with staff before “outing” the bar.
I discovered the Sawtell Ale had been designed and produced by Coopers for Frank’s Bar & Restaurant. The owner in conjunction with the brewer settled on a recipe which typifies the Sawtell beach lifestyle. The produced an easy to drink full flavour beer perfect for summer. Mr GG was a fan.
I decided to keep with the period setting of the bar and ordered a Pisco Sour. The Pisco Sour was first popular in the 1920’s and is made with a base alcohol of pisco and soured with lemon. Sugar syrup is used to sweeten the drink and the layer of foam is produced by adding an egg white and shaking the mixture with ice. When the drink is poured into the glass a lovely two tone yellow cocktail appears as the froth separates from the liquid. It was both pretty and delicious. I loved the glass my Pisco sour was served in, nice to hold and more feminine than the traditional old fashion glass. The Pisco Sour was finished with bitters adding an appealing spiciness.
The Frank’s Bar menu is small but with lots of delicious sounding options. It was nice to see some interesting children’s meals available. I would have loved the kids to order the children’s antipasto platter but they decided on more traditional choices.
Anais chose the Kids mini burger with fries. It was presented so beautifully, very cute, a tiny slider with a small serve of super crispy fries and a garnish of salad. The first item she tried was the pickles which was on the salad. My little connoisseur loved it. According to Anais the bun was crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. I didn’t get much more out of her because she had her mouth full. The burger and all the contents on the plate disappeared in a second.
I noticed the menu included a confit duck from Burrawong. Burrawong is a local Port Macquarie company that produces the most amazing Gaian ducks. I ordered the dish and promptly tweeted Beth that I would be sampling one of her ducks tonight. Beth from Burrawong Gaian sells direct to most of Sydney’s top restaurants, so it was great to see them on a local menu also. The dish was served with watercress, crisp greens and herbs. The green herb oil dotted on the plate added a lovely freshness to the dish. I have to admit, I am a mash girl. The smashed potato was deliciously salty and with crisp bits that tasted like they may have been roasted, then smashed with butter. It was so good Brett kept taking it from my plate.
But the “piece de resistance” was the melt in your mouth rich Burrawong duck meat that just fell from the bone. So moist and gamely. The dark meat melted like butter in my mouth, I was in heaven. Perhaps the only surprise was that there wasn’t the crispy skin fried skin that I love.
While I was making loving noises about my meal, Brett was feeling the same way about his Charcuterie Sourdough Pizza.
He gave me a bite and I am a changed girl! I would’ve never have imagined having a foodgasim over pizza but I can tell you, that day has come.
The sourdough base was thin, crisp and light, the tomato sauce was freshly house made, sweet and rich in flavour. What made this pizza so good was literally the sum of it’s parts. Every component was amazing! The pizza was cooked with a generous serving a delicious quality cheese, flavoursome spicy salami and chunks of thickly cubed, deliciously fatty speck. Honesty, is there any part of a pig I don’t LOVE. To serve, the Charcuterie Pizza is topped with lovely salty prosciutto and fresh rocket.
This is a pizza I will crave and need again and again.
Little Locky is a boy after his fathers heart, he’s a pizza kid. He chose the pepperoni pizza from the children’s menu. I was pleased this dish was more substantial than Anais selection. Lachlan’s pizza was every bit as good as ours. The children’s pizza also used the house made sourdough base and had the same rich tomato sauce. As you can see by the picture it is just smothered in delicious cheesy, cheese. The cheese itself had a rich pungent flavour and was obviously good quality, not your “run of the mill” pizza cheese. The pepperoni had also been sourced well, it was spicy and meaty with a delicious oily flavour the works so well on pizza.
As the sunset and the evening progressed Frank’s Bar and Restaurant got even busier and louder. Sawtell certainly has a new place to be.
I couldn’t leave without sampling some dessert. I ordered the chocolate tart to share, secretly I hoped I had successfully filled the children’s bellies.
I under estimated the lure of chocolate and the “dessert space” all children seem to have.
The velvety rich, dark chocolate pie was silky smooth. So chocolate but not overly sweet. A quenelle of sweet macadamia cream was placed on the tart and wafer thin strawberries were scattered over the dessert. Anais was instantly in love with the dehydrated strawberries but they didn’t distract her from pouncing on the tart.
I battled with the children to claim my third of the chocolatey goodness and have vowed to return without the children next time so I can enjoy every slow, creamy mouthful myself.
Frank’s Bar & Restaurant
23 First Ave, Sawtell, NSW, 2452
Ph: 02 6696 3327