Francesco’s Ristorante and Pizzeria

By | November 2, 2012

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Looking for a quaint little Italian Restaurant – try one of my favorites,  Francesco’s, tucked back in the southeast corner of the plaza at the intersection of Webber and Beneva.  Although it markets itself as a “NY Style Ristorante and Pizzeria”, as far as my taste buds are concerned the owners could also have come straight from Boston’s North End.

Growing up just outside of Boston, we had access to some of the best Italian food.  Scattered through out  Boston’s North End, were lots of little hole in the wall Italian eateries – many of them right in the owners’ basement with only a few tables and no liquor license.  It was not uncommon for patrons to bring their own bottle of wine and there were no “uncorking” fees!  When my husband and I first discovered Francesco’s, it reminded me so much of the North End restaurants.   I don’t think there were more than 8 tables in the place.  A few years ago they expanded and added a few more tables.  But don’t worry, it is still small and quaint. 

There is no need to bring your own bottle  as they do serve wine as well as beer.  My all time favorite dish there is the Baked Gondola and my husband always leans toward their grouper dish.  The portions are a nice size too.  Never one to be known for my small appetite, I have yet to finish off their  Gondola dish (served with side of pasta) at one sitting.  One thing though….when you go to Francesco’s do not be in a hurry.  They  prepare their dishes fresh – no precooking or reheating.  When your dinner arrives at your table it is steaming hot from the oven and not the microwave kind.  I spoke to Frank (Francesco, the owner) the other day.  He said to mention this blog and receive a free glass of wine.  Buen appetit!

Visit Francesco’s at 3662 Webber Street, Sarasota, Fl 34232.

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