The TCQ&A: “I Wish Tribeca Had a Really Great Cheese Shop”

christy-frank-by-asha-agnish-for-tribeca-citizenOriginally from Tiffin, Ohio, Christy Frank opened Frankly Wines at the end of 2007, after seven years at Moët Hennessy USA. Her final three years there were spent managing the stateside business for the company’s Australia/New Zealand portfolio, which is why her shop’s selection is particularly strong on wines from the Southern Hemisphere. She has three kids and, somehow, also time to write an entertaining blog, Frankly My Dear. (Portrait by Asha Agnish.)

How long have you lived in Tribeca?
I moved into the northern part of Battery Park City in 2005. In 2007, I made the big move across the highway.

Which restaurant do you frequent most often?
After 6 p.m., Bouley Bakery turns into By the Ounce—a wine bar with small plates, cheese, and meats. André Compeyre, the wine director, has put together a great list of wines by the glass, half glass, or tasting portion. He always includes some wonderful, quirky options, like a Gamay from Michigan or a Vin Jaune that pairs perfectly with the 40 month aged Comté, also on offer. It’s a relaxing way to enjoy the beautiful space when the scene isn’t so crazy.

Which restaurant do you tend to go to for special occasions?
With three kids, aged 5, 3, and 1.5, almost any night out qualifies as a special occasion. My husband, Yanai, and I keep trying for a last minute seat at Locanda Verde, but so far, we’ve been out of luck. Given that we usually show up at 9 p.m. on a Saturday, this isn’t surprising. So we just keep on going to Sushi Azabu. I dream about their sushi—the rice is textbook fabulous.

Where do you order in (or get take-out) from? Are there dishes you always order?
Landmarc burgers and fries are in heavy rotation. They have such a fantastic half-bottle wine selection that it always feels like a missed opportunity to order for delivery. But I do have an entire wine store to choose from so I can handle the deprivation. For lunch, I’m constantly craving the banh mi from Mangez Avec Moi’s sandwich bar. It’s right across the street from the store, so there’s really no point in resisting.

Which shop do you find it hard to resist popping into when you pass by?
Kings Pharmacy. They have everything. Everything! And I’m usually in need of something. One stop at Kings and I can knock about five items off my to-do list.

boomerang-toys-subway-cars-by-tribeca-citizenWhat was the last non-essential item you bought in Tribeca?
Yet another mini L-subway train from Boomerang Toys. My 5 year-old would disagree about the “non-essential” part.

Where do you always take out-of-towners?
The Odeon is still a classic. It’s great for brunch and when there are small kids involved, the staff can handle them with ease. And I’m always looking for an excuse to eat chocolate pudding.

Which neighborhood building do you wish you lived in and/or owned?
Happily, I’m in love with my own building. It was one of the first warehouse buildings to (legally) convert to residential use in the early 1980s. In our lobby, we have a massive photograph from around that time of the view from our street towards the Hudson River—and you can actually see the Hudson! The pace of change has been amazing.

What’s your favorite part of Tribeca (street, park, whatever)?
Warren Street between West Broadway and Church. On this block you’ll find the Mysterious Bookshop, Babesta Cribz, Philip Williams Posters, Korin Japanese Trading Corporation—all really unique specialist shops that are worth a look even if you’re not in the market for mystery novels, toys, vintage posters, or knives. And if you work up a thirst with all that browsing, there’s a great wine store right around the corner on West Broadway….

Your most memorable Tribeca celebrity sighting?
I wish I had one. My husband has some good ones. He can’t remember names, but he knows faces so figuring out who he spotted is like a game of I Spy.

If you could change one thing about the neighborhood, what would it be?
A really great cheese shop. Yes, we have Amish Market and Whole Foods, but I’d love something on par with Bedford Cheese in Williamsburg.

Why Tribeca?
I love that you can pick up a book on “old Tribeca” and much of it is still there in the current Tribeca. And the sidewalks are nice and wide.

Any questions you wish we’d asked?
Most people ask what my favorite wine is, and I usually refuse to answer because when I’m helping customers, it’s not about what I like—it’s about what they like. But if pressed, I’ll tell: My favorite is Chateau Musar. Its back story is the stuff of legends. Winery and vineyards are located in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Founded in the 1930’s, with wine produced nearly every harvest despite battles waged among the vines. Cellars that served as bomb shelters in the 80’s. Certain vintages that taste of gunpowder. Legends aside, I love the actual wine, both Musar whites and reds, because it tastes like nothing else except Chateau Musar. The reds are a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, and Cinsault. The flavors are a constantly evolving mix of exotic spices, stunningly vibrant fruit, earthy, gamey, meatiness. And it lasts practically forever—a classic example of a wine that you want to keep tasting as it changes. You want to grow old together. And that’s just the reds—don’t even get me started on the relatively rare whites.

Frankly Wines is at 66 W. Broadway (bet. Warren and Murray); 212-346-9544,

Previous TCQ&As:
Carrie Loewenthal: “I Order the Kid-Size Pastas at Max”
Cate Bruce-Low: “I Grilled Liev Schrieber”

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  1. This is a great segment… please continue it!

  2. Great piece on a great lady. This is my favorite wine store, great staff, fabulous wines. I always ask for recommendations and NEVER leave dissatisfied! And I totally agree about the cheese shop

  3. Kudos. Great article. And kudos on the success of managing it all.

  4. Cheese of All Nations was on Chambers St in the 70’s , 80s and possibly into the 90s

    We did ;)