I've been eating at Francis for a couple of years now. This morning was the first time it hasn't been spectacular, but I'm sure it was a fluke. I see from the City Search reviews that some people may have had bad experiences here, but I call bullshit on them - it looks like someone is trying to run this place down anonymously.
This restaurant is run by one Christopher Pierce, who is a very grand fellow both in size and nature. I have no idea if he is a kitchen nazi, but he does have the skills of a gracious host. The dishes here are all relatively high-calorie, including some that will leave a coating of delicious fat on the inside of your mouth. I would recommend a bloody mary to help strip your palate clean and dissolve some of the clogs in your arteries. Fat is where the flavor is, people!
The menu includes a moderately long list of breakfast staples. There is also a menu board posted that lists the daily offerings. These are almost always the worthy way to go, but are usually more expensive due to the finer and more interesting ingredients.
Today, the outside tables were all full, so Mr. Pierce offered a sun-lit table in the east window. He didn't really seem himself, and I worried a little about him. I had coffee and a bloody mary mason, to try and shake off the funk. My selection from the daily specials was the Rock Shrimp Benedict. The shrimp were very good, but my eggs were slightly overcooked with no runny yolk goodness at all. The hollandaise was excellent, but they quantity was meager to sparing, and their mint compote was skinny over the fruit. They always have good coffee, and this was no exception. I will say that their bloody mary is always drinkable but rather variable. This time it didn't have much kick.
All told, this morning's breakfast was one of my least memorable. The food here is generally so delicious that it may have just been a beat-down mental state that caused the food to be just...food. This is a far cry from my usual concern, that Francis will become another Genie's and have 10 gazillion hipsters lined up on the sidewalks. I think that Genie's food is starting to slide in terms of taste and quality because of their popularity.
If you go to Francis, the overnight oatmeal pancakes with bourbon butter are fantastic. Don's Benedict and the Smoked Salmon Benedict are excellent. Lastly, their scratch cinnamon rolls and biscuits are phenomenal. I also recommend anything from the special board, as I feel today's meal was an anomaly. Here's to the Francis Restaurant, I trust we will both be better when next we meet.