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“We'll Be Back!”
Review of Francoli Gourmet

Francoli Gourmet
Ranked #17 of 479 Restaurants in Orange
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed August 10, 2014

My wife and I decided to end the week with dinner out on a Friday. A friend of hers had talked about Francoli, so she suggested we try it. Great find.

When I visit a new Italian restaurant, I usually go with the Lasagna as a good indicator of whether I will like the place. Loved it. Trish went with a steak that was uniquely prepared... cut into strips and cooked that way, rather than left on the bone as most steakhouses would do. It was excellent.

There are a few outside tables. We were fortunate enough to grab the last one before the dinner rush, and enjoyed watching the passing car and foot traffic in the circle. It's not a big place, so be prepared to wait a bit if you arrive during peak dining hours. There was entertainment inside; a singer was using recorded music in the background, like his own karaoke show. The snippets we heard weren't bad, but we were glad we were outside with a better chance to talk.

The atmosphere was relaxed; jeans are perfectly acceptable, and in fact worn by the wait staff. The service was very attentive and included some nice touches, such as serving our wine from a carafe instead of the bottle.

It's a great location. After dinner, Trish and I took a walk through the circle and up Glassell for a short foot-tour of Chapman University. There are several other dining experiences there that we will try to get to someday.

The corkage fee was a little high - $20, which is the most I recall paying anywhere. That's the main reason for the 'average' value rating. We splurged a bit on dessert and port (all excellent), spending almost $100 on the bill. It is possible to dine there for about $40 - $50 per couple if wine and dessert are not part of your meal.

Just seeing some of the dishes other diners were served made us wish we'd tried something else instead, even though our food was excellent. We will definitely be back to try more of the extensive menu.

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1  Thank Bruwin1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 - 53 of 85 reviews

Reviewed August 9, 2014

Great variety of traditional Italian dishes. the place is packed on the weekends. reservations recommended. best place in town for lunch. daily specials too. recommended MeuterMedia

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Thank MeuterMedia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2014

I've never had anything that wasn't exceptional from Francoli! I always try to order their daily specials as its clear that the chef gets whatever is freshest and in season and make delicious dishes out of them. The duck ravioli is amazing. Also their staples - brushetta, salads, etc. are amazing. Francoli's is the best!!!!

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Thank DeAnn G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2014

We went here with my son and his girlfriend's family for their graduation celebration dinner. I had been here 2 times before for lunch and had enjoyed it, but this dinner was stellar! We had their fixed meal - owner personally selected what we would be having - not sure if this is the norm, but my son's girlfriends grandma is a personal friend of the owner. I know my review is a bit vague - as I didn't read the menu and the owner vividly described it all in his heavy Italian accent - and would have gladly talked about the fine food for hours - but we were very hungry having arrived at 9PM and we knew that whatever he brought us would be fine...little did we know it would be OUTSTANDING and we should have paid better attention!

We had a starter of a fruela, with shrimp, diced tomatoes and yellow peppers (?) with olive oil drizzle and baby lettuces. OK - I am not sure what it was made of - just guessing, it vanished from my plate so quickly, I am not sure what it was! I just knew it was making my taste buds very happy.

Of course lovely italian breads, three types with balsamic and olive oil was present at all times! Then we had a pasta dish made of bucatini - a spaghetti with a hole in the center of it. The red sauce was to die for. Once again, not even sure if it was Bolognese or not - it was that good, that I just ate and enjoyed, not over assessing, just loving it!

The next course was a very thin chicken breast that seemed to have a potato puree on top (?) along with green beans that were steamed to perfection.

To finish we had a large traditional tiramisu which even one person in the group who said they didn't care for tiramisu ate the entire piece and admitted, "that was alright". :)

Meanwhile the waiters were constantly filling our glasses with both red and white wines - both of which were wonderful.

Food and drink A+++ Go here for any occasion - you won't be disappointed. And I always love being in Old Town Orange - a blast from the past - Americana at it's best!

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Thank cybertraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2014

Francoli is a transport to Italy and outstanding Italian cuisine !

-Everything is fresh: the best in produce, olive oil, meats, fish, pasta, deserts.

-Preparation is excellent: salads, pastas, lamb chops, and fish stews to perfection.

-Service is friendly and hospitable: Servers are helpful in menu-selections and making everyone welcome.

-Wine selections offer great options: especially those from the Tuscan-area.

--Plus: seating outside is quiet and comfortable.

Francoli is the best not just in Orange, California - but the best in the whole of Orange County !

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Thank triptraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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