Inside the Kitchen: The Franklin

From their sizzling flavor-packed entrees, to guilt free health food and a huge array of craft cocktails, The Franklin has a little something for everyone.

With sweeping views of downtown Traverse City at street level and second floor — the people watching’s always great.

The kitchen and the bar, both stocked with global foodie creations and just really well done American standards… you’ll have a taste for it all when we go Inside the Kitchen at The Franklin.

“It draws from the entire world of food. We have some Cuban influence or some Asian influence, there’s an all-American sort of wholesome influence… Miles gets toreally… here he gets to really explore the entire world.”

Co-Owner Amanda Danielson teamed-up with five-time James Beard nominee Executive Chef Miles Anton 12 years ago when they founded Trattoria Stella, Traverse City’s Italian favorite.

They took a different approach when they opened The Franklin with an emphasis on great ingredients and whole animal butchery

“We’re starting with real meat,” explained Danielson. “A whole bird. We’re not starting with something pressed and formed and strange… the pork you get, we butchered the pigs.”

Nowhere is that pride more obvious than in this porchetta-packed, signature sandwich.

“We take the pork loin, we wrap it in the pork belly after we butcher the whole animal,” explained Executive Chef Miles Anton. “We dust it with fennel pollen and chopped rosemary. It’s rolled and tied and then slow roasted for about four hours… This is going to be the base of our sandwich.”

If you’ve had a French dip, this takes things to the next level.

They slice the roast thin and give it a caramelized onion crust.

The meat goes straight from the still sizzling frying pan into a fresh-baked crusty roll.

“The loin is typically fairly lean meat,” said Anton. “But when you wrap it in that belly, you get the fat, the flavor and the bulk of the loin.”

The whole thing gets doused in a pot of steaming hot broth… and crowned with your veggies: a little red cabbage slaw, shade celery for crunch and arugula.

“The piece de la resistance on top! Porchetta!”

If you’ve got beef on the brain, The Franklin carries a whole line of steaks, including this hefty 16 ounce rib eye.

“It’s all cleaned-up,” said Anton, slicing through the meat. “We’re going to cut the steak-nice beautiful marbling on there.”

Chef Miles keeps his seasonings old school-just salt, pepper… and a little bit of oil to fuel the fire.

“I put the grill marks on, I get a little of that grill flavor developing and then we’re going to put it in a sizzling hot pan and get a nice brown sear on the outside,” said Anton. “I’m going to develop that crust on it.”

Our feast spends a minute and a half in a 500 degree convection oven and comes out good-to-go, a perfect medium rare.

It’s plated with a side of honeyed carrots, hit with a pinch of rosemary and the chef’s thoughtful twist on onion rings.

“We marinate the onion rings in a ginger beer, which gives them this nice sweet ginger kind of quality,” explained the chef as he worked. “Just a little flour dredge here. You can smell the ginger coming off them. It’s just a little twist that works really well with the carrots.”

Fried crispy, golden brown, stacked-up and there you have it… but if you’re steak dinner isn’t complete without a stiff drink, you’re in luck: this place was practically built around its bar.

“It is over a hundred years old. It actually came from a bar in the U-P,” explained Danielson, who is in charge of the restaurant’s beverage service. “We bought it thinking we’re going to build our restaurant around that bar because it’s fantastic… It really is the focal point for the whole place.”

And whether you’re looking for a Belgian brew or something made right here in the Cherry Capital, The Franklin has a beverage program to match–an international array of beers, wines and unparalleled craft cocktails.

“We make everything here. Just like we employ a butcher, we actually employ somebody who makes all our syrups, all of our juices, all of our mixes-they’re all made here in house, again, from the best ingredients,” said Danielson. “It really is going to that higher level in providing fine cuisine for people but in a casual environment, something that’s really approachable.”

Categories: Inside the Kitchen