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“Best Italian restaurant”

Francesca's Italian Bistro
Ranked #2 of 17 Restaurants in Coventry
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Coventry, Connecticut
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best Italian restaurant”
Reviewed February 23, 2013

Without a doubt this is the best Italian restaurant I've been to. It rivals the cooking the my aunts and grandmother used to do. Everything, from appetizers to desert was the best quality, reasonable price and authentic taste.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Bob J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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122 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    58
    28
    16
    10
    10
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
North Stonington, Connecticut
Level Contributor
52 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Good and Has Real Promise”
Reviewed February 1, 2013

We had a what was a genuinely good dinner here--for an excellent price, by the way--right before the holidays; yet I wish there was more serious food on the menu and less iceberg lettuce salad and less ordinary bread. The tables are close together and this is NOT the place for an intimate dinner, but the cooking is nicely done and I will go again and recommend to others.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Dr R M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Level Contributor
109 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“A hidden surprise”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Francesca's is located in a run-of-the-mill looking building along with a small sports bar, and while it has been open for a while, my wife and I assumed it was another pizza joint, and paid no notice to it. We finally stopped by a few nights ago for dinner. The seating area is quite small (24 seats) and also shows a bit of uncertainly about what the restaurant is trying to be. It is a mix of tables with linen table clothes and Italian motif art on the walls and two out-of-place televisions also mounted on the walls. One was playing a soccer match, the other was on one of those reality, housewives-of-Beverly Hills type programs. Neither had sound nor captioning. In such a small seating area, the TVs are hard to escape and I spend my dinner staring directly and unwillingly at the silently changing cattiness of the reality show. The area would be better off without the TVs. Given the very limited seating, I was surprised by the extensive menu. Often offering many dishes means that none are done well, but that proved not the case as Francesca's. My wife and I started by sharing an arancini, which is rice ball in a fried shell stuff with meat and peas. It was topped with a Vodka type sauce, which I do not usually like, In this case, though, the dish and its sauce were first-rate, and the portion of two good-sized balls at $7 was a good buy . For our main course, I had sausage and pappardelle in cream sauce. Pappardelle is a wide egg-noodle type pasta ($17). It was excellent. I am pretty sure the noodles were house-made and they were cooked to al-dente perfection. The very tasty sausage was "crumbled" and the noodles held the sauce nicely. My wife had clams over spaghetti in a red sauce ($18). The dish had numerous small clams and was quite good. Both main dishes were generous proportions and, particularly given their high quality, were well worth the money. Before the main course there were rolls (good, not great) and salads. The salads were just OK except for some pretty good olives. I ordered the house-made Italian dressing. It was thin and too vinegary. My wife had the blue cheese, but it was bottled stuff. The service was friendly and efficient. If it were possible to give 4.5 stars, rather than 4, I would. But there were a few draw backs including the so-so salads and the intrusive televisions. Another drawback is that the tables are so close, that once another couple was seated at the adjacent table (maybe a foot separation from ours), any chance of a meaningful conversation ended. The open kitchen, just a few feet away, also was a bit intrusive. There is also reasonable wine list a reasonable prices. Given the limited seating, I recommend reservations for the main dinner hours.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank freetogoConnecticut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Potsdam, New York
Level Contributor
91 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Good food, great people”
Reviewed January 20, 2013 via mobile

Had dinner with 3 other family members. We knew the location was small so we called ahead for reservations. Everyone enjoyed their meal and we split a tiramisu for dessert-FANTASTIC! The chef is the owner and his wife makes the desserts. We found the staff attentive and the owners wonderful to chat with. We'll definitely be returning.

Helpful?
Thank Bohlcore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coventry, Connecticut
Level Contributor
122 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“good for Coventry”
Reviewed November 6, 2012

Overall Comments: Okay Food, Expensive Menu, Very Slow (but plesent servers)

Decided to go to this restaurant based on the reviews, and I have to say this is not a place I would run back to. Be went there around 845pm on a Friday night and the place was jamming...defintely a good sign. We were seated fairly promtly, but then waited about 10 minutes for our server to come to us, and it was another 10 minutes for the drinks to come out. They have a great menu, but it is on the pricey side...not too bad if the food is really good. We go out to eat a lot, so I do not really mind spending money on quality food. My Wife had lasagne ($15) which tasted good, but was swimming..no drowning in grease. It was in a bowl and the grease at the on the edge was about 1/4" deep. I had the puntanesca with sausage ($23). Once again, it tasted ok, but the sausage had absolutely no flavor or seasoning. The sauce was mediocre, and honestly I could have made something a lot better at home. Now for the wine...we got the house cabernet which honestly tasted like it came out of a box. Come to find out they serve Walnut Creek which is $6.99 a bottle and they charge $6 per glass. I would suggest going with a beer or a bottle of wine. From a service standpoint, althought it was extremely slow, our waitress was very pleasant. They only had one server for a packed restaurant, so we would not really blame her.

Overall, the prices the same as Bricco's in Glastonbury but the quality of the food is not even close. However, if you are craving decent home made italian, and do not feel like driving far, then this place may be what you are looking for.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank KMAN1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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