Governor, explorer, landmark namesake, Hobart's latest ‘the’ place to eat and drink; Franklin has opened its doors.
The much-anticipated restaurant from Executive Chef, David Moyle and collaborator, Ben Lindell, has been turned on to a slow burn. Aesthetic tapas and a Spanish-Italian wine menu is what's on offer until the opening of the restaurant proper.
Housed in the Mercury's former printing press floor, Franklin is terrazzo, polished cement and steel framed windows. A natural beauty, with Franklin’s residency, it’s now the ‘It girl’.
Think contemporary, chic, minimalist, steel grey; its nearest style neighbour in Hobart is Garagistes.
The expanse of the bar is standing room only although you’ll find a few seats along its perimeter and two low, amoebae-shaped tables and harsh milking stools on which to perch.
After stalking the venue since the Mercury’s promise of an early opening, on Thursday night, The Two Girls went to survey the site from the inside.
We spent around $40 each and that included two glasses of wine and two small plates per person.
We chose the:
Salt cod mantecato, $12, a salt cod puree with radishes and radicchio
Pork broth, clams, miso and garlic, $10
Calamari noodles, ink sauce, $8 and
Goat bun, $10.
Each small plate was exquisite. The mantecato balanced the saltiness of the cod with the creaminess of the puree’s texture. It was served with probably the most delicious bread ever baked. In the entire world. Ever.
The pork broth and clams was stunning.
The calamari was cut thin as noodles, barely cooked. Fried, battered, seasoned, it’s often impossible to recognise calamari’s origins. Poached and in squid ink, this calamari evokes saltwater memories.
The goat was rubbed with a little bit of heat and served on the other bread of the moment, brioche roll.
If these small plates are any indicator of the quality of the restaurant to come, Hobart is in for a big deal. The biggest deal in many years. When Franklin restaurant is revealed on 10 October 2014, the gas is going to get turned up to full boil.
It's been a long time between drinks; since Doyle closed the door at Peppermint Bay's The Stacking. The rumour mill had Doyle's Hobart enterprise opening in March. Good things come to those who wait.
Locavores might ponder the wine list aghast. Franklin is going to forge their own path. The wine list will broaden the palate and a kind sommelier or similar will explain all to the uninitiated.
We suspect acoustics are going to be a big deal when the restaurant opens but it’s something Moyle and Lindell are putting their mind to getting right before the big night.
You’ll find Franklin at 30 Argyle St, Hobart. Call them on 6234 3375. They’re open Thursday to Monday from 5.30 pm.