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“Service is great, Cheap owner has odd quote to try and justify extremely lengthy food times”

Francesco's Ristorante and Pizzeria
Ranked #2 of 57 Restaurants in Maitland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: In the authentic Italian tradition, we select our simple, whole ingredients and combine them by hand with heart, using the time-honored method of open flame cooking. We utilize the intense heat of our wood burning ovens to lend unique flavor to our food. From our hand-made mozzarella to our artisanal pizzas, pastas and salads, we have a passion for quality and pride in our product that we know you'll appreciate. We only use sustainable, fresh, local ingredients.
Winter Park, Florida
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Service is great, Cheap owner has odd quote to try and justify extremely lengthy food times”
Reviewed May 29, 2014

My husband and I were here twice when they first opened (2012?). We got to the restaurant around 7:00. As we walked to the entrance, I was surprised/glad to see that the restaurant was busy and full. Unfortunately for us, I didn't do my research to find out if they took reservations, (I found out they do, and are on opentable.com). We still wanted to see how long the wait would be, so we went inside. The young dark-haired hostess, (Desaray?), was very honest and helpful. She informed us that it would be at least 1 hour due to a lot of reservations just being seated before we came in. I like when we are quoted the actual wait time, like Desaray gave us, rather than the "15-20 minutes" that other restaurants tell you just to keep you there. So we decided to stick it out and wait. At about the fifteen minute marker, we decided we would come back the following week, but with a reservation. We live right around the corner, so it was really not a big deal. My husband and I used the restroom before we left. As we were making our way out the front door, Desaray made her way through a sea of people to get our attention. A reservation had just cancelled, and she offered to get us seated right away. Very unexpected but definitely welcomed! So we took her up on the offer and were taken to our table. Our server Shaeyla was really quick, knowledgeable and funny! We ended up ordering 2 wedge salads and fried calamari to start us off. The salads came out first and were beautiful looking, but tasted even better. The calamari came out shortly after, and it was delicious! In the meantime, we ordered lasagna and eggplant for our main courses. We literally never had to ask for anything because Shaeyla was not only one-step ahead, but also very attentive. While waiting for our main course. An older rough looking gentleman in a dress shirt barged in the middle of our conversation to introduce himself. No name tag, no company logo, and a whiff of stale wine on his breath, (turns out his name is Jon and after a few minutes, revealed he was one of the owners). It was a little awkward when he lingered and kept talking to us, but we were polite and let him finish rambling. We ended up waiting for a total of an hour for our main courses, from the time we saw them ordered in the computer, to the time they arrived. Absolutely pathetic amount of time for a kitchen to cook staple Italian dishes. Jon, the older owner from earlier, made his way by again to ask how our experience was. We told him how great the service side was, but we were disappointed in the long cook time for our food. He told us something along the lines of "the chef personally makes each dish fresh, so it sometimes takes longer on the weekends". Being that my husband and I were both servers in college, we can both spot a cheap owner with an understaffed kitchen. He offered us complimentary dessert, (not sure why, but assuming because he thought that would make it ok for the slow cook times on our eggplant and lasagna). We were too full, so we respectfully declined. We closed out our bill and got up shortly after. On the way out, we passed Shaeyla who thanked us and said goodnight, and then Desaray who we made sure to thank for being so accommodating. The main things I learned: 1. Make a reservation 2. Hostess and Servers go above and beyond 3. Kitchen is understaffed, so hot food takes an abnormal time to come out, (same reason that we stopped going in 2012) 4. Owner should correct kitchen times rather than offer free dessert and antics

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Erica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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187 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Winter Park, Florida
Level Contributor
125 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Love chef owned local places!”
Reviewed April 25, 2014 via mobile

Wonderful neighborhood place. Great to dine or take out. Lovely atmosphere with some tv's for sports fans. Homemade food made with fresh quality ingredients. Our new italian favorite in the area.
Only negative is the policy of waiting for the entire party before anyone may be seared. As the table sat empty and we waited for the missing two out of five, the establishment missed out on selling drinks and appetizers. Seems like an odd business decision.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Wjm420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maitland
Level Contributor
69 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Wonderful Neighborhood Italian”
Reviewed April 15, 2014

Delicious Italian with a great atmosphere. Love the eggplant rollatine, the pizzas and the bread. Good wine list as well. This has become our go-to Italian restaurant in the neighborhood!

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Bonnie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kissimmee FL
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great Authentic Italian Food!”
Reviewed April 2, 2014 via mobile

We were brought here by some friends and it has become our new favorite restaurant. The restaurant itself is very cozy and the atmosphere is elegant yet casual. We haven't had a bad meal here. From the excellent calamari to their Capresse salad with fresh mozzarella. The pastas are excusite and made fresh and the portions are enormous. We've had the veal and chicken parm, both delicious. The Pizzas are also good, although not your typical Neapolitan pie, they have a flavor of their own which actually is delicious to us. Their penne a la vodka is our favorite. I wish they made the Fruitti di Mare part of their menu because it is phenomenal. They have a decent wine selection and the wait staff is for the most part very friendly. My only complaints are that their reservation/greeters staff have a little bit of an attitude problem and make you feel as if you just walked into Nobu or Le Bernardin without a reservation, even when you make one. Also, since they are so busy is hard these days to get a table, but I supposed this is a good problem to have. Keep up the good work and the great food.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Elio P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winter Park, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Desserts are the best I have EVER had, but so is the Eggplant and the everything”
Reviewed March 31, 2014

The desserts here are beyond wonderful. I should really lead with a description of the fish for which this restaurant is known, or the Eggplant which is my personal favorite or the chicken parm all served with lovely pasta in white or red sauce. Or perhaps I should begin with the interior design (comfortable, stylish, friendly, modern/traditional), or perhaps the staff or simply the fact that every detail is perfect but unobtrusive. BUT the fact that in a lifetime of dessert loving, I have never ever had anything as good. The cassata (Italian cheesecake is the description but does not do it justice) is sublime (I like the regular version, but there is a chocolate crust version which is also good); the cannoli is wonderful; the Italian wedding cake is fabulous, and I must mention my husband's personal favorite, the little pastry triangles with a distinctive filling (Sfogliatte), actually all desserts are wonderful. Ask if they have a special one that day. I should mention that the food is clearly fresh and obviously without preservatives. I see business groups, families, friends, and people eating alone. Go.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Spikerugg2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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