Francie is a buttoned-up Williamsburg restaurant you should visit when you want to feel cool and casually spend about $100 on dinner. The glitzy brasserie is located in a converted limestone bank building on Broadway right down the street from Peter Luger and Diner, and it’s full of waiters in white blazers carrying platters of dry-aged duck on beds of purple flowers. But surprisingly, it’s not that stuffy. We would advise dropping in on a weeknight for a martini and some upscale bar snacks like a spongy soufflé cake topped with caviar and seaweed butter before getting on with your life. That said, Francie is perfect for a special night out involving dishes like a whole roasted duck with crispy skin, lobster ravioli, and lasagna with duck bolognese. And whether you’re sitting in a big booth or a two-top table in the center of the dining room, you’ll have a nice view of the chefs who appear very cool and calm in the kitchen.
If you’re having a big night out at Francie, get this incredibly juicy duck breast. The skin is perfectly crispy and the meat is some of the most tender we’ve had anywhere in the city. Each order costs $98 and comes with three rich sides: soppressata jam, swiss chard, and mashed parsnips.