Franco's is a pleasant and spacious restaurant on Jermyn Street near to St James's We came in as a party of four shortly before 6pm, having booked a table for their pre-theatre dinner. The restaurant was almost empty, just two other tables taken. A determined receptionist positioned us in a passage between the two dining areas and we asked for a better table. So she put us near the back of the second dining area at a table which abutted the serving counter and cash till. We asked for one of the free tables near the window. She said it was booked. It clearly wasn't for the period of our stay. It remained unoccupied, as did several other more pleasant tables than ours, during the whole of our visit. Anyway, we made do with the table we were given, which was in such a tight space that we had to move it to seat ourselves, while the staff stood idly by. Dinner was pleasant enough from the pre-theatre menu, but not special. My wife and I started with a salad of green beans with sun-dried tomatos and goat's cheese. The goat's cheese had been crumbled and the beans had been tossed in it some time before they were served, making them somewhat limp. I continued with a fillet of seabream with caponata. Now caponata can be served hot or cold, but it's not very appealing to have a hot panfried piece of fish served directly on bland ratatouille (which this was) that comes straight from the fridge. The other guests had ordered tagliata of beef and breast of chicken, which were nicely presented. We had ordered spinach and broccoli for four. The bowls that arrived were so minute that they were only adequate for one. We were cheered by an interesting red wine from Puglia, an A Mano Primitivo for £25. Unfortunately the waiter managed to pour drops down the outside of our glasses as well as the inside, and took no steps to wipe off the residue. The prices on the menu are in round pounds with no pound signs or a second decimal point. So the vegetables are priced at 4.5 and the two course pre-theatre menu, which does not include them, costs 18. There's a 12.5 percent service charge. There's nothing drastically wrong with Franco's that a little care and attention won't solve, but they managed to create a distinctly unmemorable start to our evening.
If you own or manage Franco's, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.