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“AUTHENTIC ITALIAN BUT OKAY SEAFOOD RISOTTO”

Ristorante Villa Francesca
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Ranked #431 of 3,263 Restaurants in Boston
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: North End
Cross street: Hanover Street
Transit: Haymarket and Government Center--A quick walk up Hanover Street brings you to our step.
Description: Villa Francesca is one of Boston's oldest North End restaurants. Enjoy Italian cuisine inspired by the recipes of Francesca and the Guglielmo family. Fresh seafood, pastas, prime cut chops and steaks arrive daily for you dining pleasure. We love seafood just as much as you do and have designed a Prix Fixe 3-course Seafood menu available every night!Enjoy an intimate candlelit night or a night out with friends to make your special event a night to remember. Our restaurant can facilitate your event needs by booking one of the private function spaces for any special occasion.
Reviewed August 31, 2013

Villa Francesca has excellent curb appeal with open facade to street so you can hear the patron's chatter. The red sauce Italian dishes were excellent - the pasta and sauces fresh and delicious. The seafood risotto was okay - tasted fine but the presentation was bland (everything was the same pale color). The shrimp was tiny and tasteless. Most of the seafood was calamari and a little rubbery however, the risotto was cooked fine. The Montelpulciano wine by the glass was a good selection. We moved on for dessert at a gelati place on Hanover Street.

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Thank arthiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (324)
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211 - 215 of 325 reviews

Reviewed August 29, 2013

I and my wife were walking in the north end of Boston. We came across Villa Francesca. We were seated right away with a nice table by the window. The service was OK, slow with our drinks and with getting water and bread. Once our order were taken and served, then stopping here was worth it. We both had different pasta dishes which were enjoyed very much. The tables are a bit crowded and was getting packed into the afternoon. So it was getting noisy.

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Thank dlennp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2013 via mobile

A crowded North End Italian eatery that benefits (lives off of actually) from its location but is not all that special. First, know that parking is pretty non-existent on the street, local garages about 6 blocks away will cost $28-35 and the restaurant's valet service is overwhelmed (nowhere to be found on our recent visit). Second, reservation times mean nothing; be prepared to wait ... and wait. The food was hit and miss for our party of 6. My pork chop was exceptional, my wife's risotto average. One son's pasta with clams quite good, the others pasta with shrimp below average. The minestrone ...not. I was unimpressed. Ended up being about $50/person with tip. Why?

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Thank Hammbrook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2013

Had a great experience here in 2011 with a dozen colleagues, so I returned with a valued client while in Boston for a large conference. The hostess kept us waiting for a while as she chatted on the phone with a friend, and then tried to seat us in the "wine cellar" (basement). We cheerfully opted instead to eat at the bar. Rachel (bartender) was friendly, and after we ordered a $145 bottle of wine, recommended the lobster ravioli and calamari appetizers from the restaurant week menu. When we asked what to order for the entree' she told us she only worked one day a week and called Tomas (the owner) over, who recommended the Finanzziera to us (according to the menu “a splendid combination of chicken, veal, shrimp and sausage prepared in a white wine sauce with mushrooms and artichoke hearts”). The ravioli was very good, with a fresh dill flavor. The calamari was pan fried (un-breaded) served in a red sauce - not terrible, but not worth finishing. We both ordered the Finazziera based on the owner’s recommendation, and were both VERY disappointed. The single shrimp was overcooked, the veal was tough, the two slices of sausage, chicken and wine sauce were mediocre at best. Neither of us finished the entrée and when we saw Tomas again, my client mentioned to him that the entree he recommended was not up to par with the food we'd had in 2011. Tomas was unapologetic, but did say he'd check with the kitchen. We were disappointed, but were good with his response . . . until dessert was served. After our plates were put down, Tomas loudly yelled from behind us "If the Tiramisu sucks, its not my fault." The Tiramisu was mediocre (after that, how could it be otherwise). In fact, my piece was about half a portion from the rounded corner of a pan and was dried out and stale. We flagged Tomas down and told him that we were surprised at his comment. He gave us a lecture in which he told us that he didn't care if we were happy, that we shouldn't expect much from a $38.13 restaurant week menu, and that we should pay our bill and leave. When we pointed out that we ordered a $145 bottle of wine and chose from the restaurant week menu based upon his recommendation, Tomas tolus us that everybody orders more wine than that, I don't care if you are happy, I don't care if you like the food, etc. When the bill came, it included shots of tequila and cappuccino that we had not ordered. Although not sure if this was intentional, we soon realized how disappointed those at the bar who ordered those drinks were when Rachel told them they would have to cover their drinks. We didn't want to leave feeling so misunderstood and disappointed, so we calmly approached Tomas, and told him that we were trying to provide honest feedback. He told us he didn't care, he didn't need our business or any business, and that we were wrong - everyone loves the food the same chef has been cooking for 30 years. His veal is the best, etc. The manager of any fast food chain store would have handled this situation better than the owner of Villa-Francesca did. We paid our bill and left in the midst of heckling from the employees and bar customers whose drinks were included on our bill. I travel 40+ weeks a year, around the world. Villa Francesca is clearly the worst experience I’ve ever encountered.

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1  Thank photo999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2013

Anyone who has eaten at an authentic Italian resterant knows this place is no better than the Olive Garden but at 2x the price. The lobster ravioli was precooked and soggy. I never ate red snapper that had the consistency of swordfish. Service is mediocre at best and we waited 45 minutes between services, on a Wednesday night. The coffee was not included in the seafood dinner and came at $5 / cup bringing our bill to 110 per person with wine.

The cannolis were good, but that was all.

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

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