Actually Pretty Awesome: A Dinner of Small Plates at Frances

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Photo: J. Barmann/Grub Street

Now that a lot of the initial hype has calmed down (even though it's still not easy to snag a prime time reservation), we'll cop to being big fans of Frances. The little neighborhood restaurant that opened in late '09 and went on to garner loads of local and national press attention, as well as a James Beard nod for Best New Restaurant last year, remains what chef-owner Melissa Perello set out for it to be: a comforting, casual place to eat with deceptively minimalist and perfectly executed food. Though Perello has a knack for elevating entres with years of technique her variations on a chicken ballantine that regularly appear on the menu are a good example many of the best tastes on the menu are found in her smaller plates: the bouches, appetizers, and sides. A perfect meal could made just of these, some dollar-an-ounce ros, and dessert. See our slideshow to get your mouth watering.