One week, you might order duck with a maple glaze and eggplant risotto at Franki’s Li’l Europe, then a few weeks later return to find that the duck is now served with a cranberry and madeira demi-glacé and nutmeg sweet potatoes. Chalk it up to the revolving blackboard menu. “We have people who come every two weeks and always eat the same thing but never have the same dish. It gives people a shot to try different experiences,” says new owner and longtime chef Jake Batt. Twelve to 15 of the restaurant’s entrées appear on dry-erase board menus that are regularly wiped clean and re-imagined. People with obsessive-compulsive tendencies can order from the set menu, which offers 10 house specialties as well as lighter fare, such as handmade whole wheat and vegetable lasagna that sells easily whether patrons are dieting or not. Other changes Batt made after Franki’s retirement include a weekend brunch menu — think migas and French toast — and a shift away from its typical German and Hungarian-based dishes toward a more Continental feel. Patrons will find ample French dishes complemented by an expanded wine list and may be surprised to see non-European favorites. During a recent Wednesday night chef’s special — a weekly $20 three-course meal — Batt made seafood gumbo.

Franki’s Li’l Europe
362 Casa Linda Plaza
214-320-0426


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