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“Not worth the price”
Review of Francesca's - CLOSED

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Francesca's
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed March 3, 2011

We have attempted to eat at Francesca's three times. The first time (soon after opening) the bread was delicious, the pasta excellent, and the service fine. However, I still did not feel the food merited the prices (higher than most if not all other restaurants in Hallowell for no better quality). The thing that ruined that experience for me was the cannolli I ordered to go for dessert. It was 6 or 7 dollars (!!!!) and yet the shell was soggy and the filling pasty. Disgusting! However, since the other food had been good we wanted to give it another go.

The second time we went at lunch, hoping for the advertised buffet. We found that there was some sort of trouble with the freezer or the food delivery, however, and the kitchen was unable to offer much, so we left.

The third time we were seated and provided water and bread by a waiter who did not seem particularly happy to be there, or to see us (though we were only the second couple in the whole place). Then we discovered that the bread had a black crust. When we asked the waiter about this he seemed unenthusastic about replacing it, though he did eventually agree to do so. And then when we were going to order, he informed us that the one dish we were most interested in was not available. We decided at this point it just wasn't worth it to risk such uneven service and food.

We went to Pasta'z in Gardiner instead, and had a delicious meal, a warm cheerful atmosphere, friendly service, a smaller bill and one of the best cannolli I've tasted!

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Thank liadain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (31)
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23 - 27 of 31 reviews

Reviewed February 19, 2011

We drove an hour to dine at Francesca's. The dining area was small and outdated. We hardly ever get a baby sitter and were so looking forward to great Italian food on our rare night out. My husband got the lasagna (when I cook it at home he eats half the tray) which is his favorite dish and he could not eat more than a quarter of it. It was bland and gross. I ordered the chicken parm. It was NOT chicken parm. The chicken was naked and bland and unbreaded with chopped tomatoes and onions and burnt cheese on top. Another gross dish. We were so turned off we did not eat the meals. When the chef came out we let her know we did not like or want the dishes served. She said noone else had complained and she never offered us a comp of anything. The WORST customer service ever!!! She should have offered another dish, a free dessert, or a free drink. So $65 dollars later for horrible food and 2 drinks - we got offered no reason to ever step foot in there again!!! The waiter was nice but that doesn't make up for nasty food. We would have been better off at the Olive Garden at least they make Italian food because Francescas has NO idea what Italian is!! We will NEVER go again!

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Thank bodaciou69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2010

Five of us went to dine for third attempt at Francesca's. The other two times left us feeling as though there was potential for good food and a good dining experience, yet we felt short-changed based on both price and food preparation the other two times. The first time resulted in rubbery, uncooked fish in a mediterranean dish. The second time resulted in my daughter trying mussels that she complained "didn't taste right" so we encouraged her to give them another shot, until I smelled them and found the batch to be spoiled to the point where you could smell them from about a foot away. The color was visibly off on three of them. The other dishes were okay. In Maine, apart from Olive Garden in Augusta, we have limited selection for Italian food so we figured we'd try one more time. The waitress was new and great. The soup was wonderful. The main meal: Merda! My grandmother's pasta was hard - no al dente. My wife's shrimp scampi was borderline raw shrimp. My daughter and her friend's chicken parmesan came out as chicken piccata with lemon, not breaded, yet still came out with tomato sauce - not even close to as described on the kid's menu. The winner, however, was my beef tenderloin. To begin with, I'll enjoy sushi, beef carpaccio, FRESH mussells or oysters on the half shell, and I often order meat medium rare to rare - this thing came out raw on 3/4 and only one small section with a browned exterior. Further, when I tried to cut through it, the beef was a bad cut - it was sinewy and tough. I figured it if was cooked more, then I'd deal with it, since the sauce may mask the texture. I sent it back and it came back with half the sauce removed, two pieces I'd cut to the side left outright cold and not reheated, and the main piece STILL came back raw and luke-warm to the touch. I sent it back and, by this time, I simply asked for a mediiterranean dish to go and for dessert. At this point, the waitress was very apologetic and signalled for the greeter, who may be the chef's husband, to come speak with us. He was very nice and was insistent that we speak our concerns to the chef. We had been working our way through the dinner and tried to just get to dessert, but the staff appeared more than eager to have us speak directly to the chef. The chef approached us with an immediately apparent look of "what do you want?", but instead stood there silently until my wife said that we'd not called her over, but since you are here...we've tried coming here several times and each time we've had an issue with food preparation, primarily with uncooked food, as evidenced with several of the dishes tonight." The chef/owner? said that she always used fresh food, that she always checks the temperature of the dishes before serving and that the waitress was new and doesn't know the different levels of doneness. She said that the "problem" many people have around here is that we don't know how food is supposed to be prepared and people around here always want the food over-cooked. I pointed out that my dish simply wasn't cooked at all. The chef then stated that the next time we come it, then, maybe, we should instruct the waitress that we all want our meals overcooked so we won't have this problem. I explained that we'd had an issue in the past with the mussels as well as my grandmothers hard pasta, my wife's near-raw shrimp and my dish, which was not only not prepared correctly the first time as medium to medium rare doneness, but wasn't fixed AND was a bad cut of meat. In short, the chef turned around and walked away. I almost stacked our to-go dishes - that we were going to finish cooking at home - and stomped on them. Classless response and we were not only level-headed in trying to offer constructive criticism. I've eaten in the Chop House, Smith & Wollennsky's, The Palm, Ruth's Chris, Shula's, etc, etc, and lived in numerous cities where my favorite past-time is weekly dining. Her attitude was not just that my wife and I were a couple of small town Maine hicks, but that "the problem with many people around here" is that "we" don't know how good food is supposed to be prepared. I'll give her a hint: it should ALWAYS be prepared with a smile and served with one as well. This was a pathetic experience for a $134 tab for three adults and two children. I hope the nice waitress finds better employment. If this restaurant is not short-lived, I will be surprised.

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3  Thank BreMart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2010

This is such a wonderful place to dine! GREAT food and service. I have a gluten allergy and there is never a promblem! The Chef always acommodates my dish so i can dine out. My family and i will return again and again!

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2  Thank love4paris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2010

We were suprised by the cost of everything and after eating the food, decided that it was NOT worth the money. The entree's were extremely salty and almost not edible.

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

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