The small plates restaurant and cocktail lounge The Franklin (2600 Dauphine St.) is nearing completion and is expected to open in the next two weeks, says owner Jason Baas. The corner spot has been under renovation for months, and the casual but elegant interior features 70 seats, including 14 at the bar.
Chef Jim Bremer spent years as a produce supplier, and the menu will feature many items from his garden. The menu of small plates also will focus on oysters and local seafood, Baas says. The tentative opening menu includes steak tartare with strawberries and balsamic, avocado tempura with crab, butter-braised leeks with roasted garlic and cardoon and other dishes. Seafood dishes include raw and wood-grilled oysters, Gulf courtbouillon and Gulf fish specials. There also are several cheese plates and desserts.
Franklin Buist, formerly the sommelier at Atchafalaya, is handling wine and spirits. The cocktail menu includes a version of a French 75 with Paul Beau VS cognac, Rothman & Winter Orchard Peach liqueur, sparkling rose and Angostura Bitters and the g.n.t. peel with Cadenhead Old Raj gin, artisanal tonic, thyme and lime.
Baas was formerly the general manager at Lilette, and he expects The Franklin to appeal to local restaurant industry workers.
"It's all small plates with moderate pricing," he says. "It's not too formal. Today, people want to pop in, try some things and move on."
The Franklin will be open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily. Baas expects to try a soft opening during Jazz Fest.