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Don Francesco


ElizR
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Lord Balthazar's stunning review of Don Francesco a month or so ago persuaded us to try it for the first time last Saturday.

We arrived at 7pm and were promptly seated. The place was almost full and all the waitstaff looked busy but were attentive and professional: we ordered a bottle of sparking water to start and this was brought within a few minutes.

We emptied the bread basked very quickly, and another full basket was brought without our having to ask. We finished that too!

Appetizers:

My bf had the Linguine Pescatore and once it arrived I wished I'd ordered it too. Gorgeous!! A decent-sized portion of linguine with mixed seafood. He loved it and scarfed it down before I had a chance to steal any.

I had the Lobster Bisque, but asked for extra pepper, which made it quite sharp tasing. But it was fresh and came with a decent amoung of lobster pieces on top.

After this we were served a mixed salad - nice touch!

Mains:

We were suprised to see that there were no pasta dishes offered for the main course, especially as it was Dine Out.

We both had the Veal Marsala and were both very happy with the dish. Sauce was well-balanced and was accompanied by a mixture of vegetables.

Dessert:

Bf had the Orange Cake and I the Pear Tart. They were both tasty, but the portions were tiny, maybe 1-1.5 inches wide. I actually checked the website and saw that this appears to be the size of the regular desserts, which is surprising as they were small-sized for a regular menu.

We also ordered two coffees and half a litre of wine. The total came to $130, quite a bit considering, but a satisfying evening.

We were served quickly and efficiently but did not seem rushed. The waitstaff managed the floor well considering how busy they were, but still had time to help us with our coats. Good job all around. :smile:

Elizabeth

"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook".

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  • 2 weeks later...

we had an awesome dinner here last night!

i had the linguine to start with (due to your review) and fine myself craving for it this morning! it was delicious. the pasta was perfectly al dente, the seafood fresh and the sauce simple and so savoury and tasty. the bf had the soup and it was very nice as well, but i loved my pasta more! we both had the veal and hands down, one of the best veal dishes we've ever had. rich marsala and mushroom sauce, the veal was practically melt in your mouth. so good. i had the tiramisu (i know, so cliche, but a craving needed to be filled) and he had the orange cake. both were good, simple and clean flavoured. i actually liked the fact that the desserts were on the small side as i have a bad habit of eating all of my dessert! :raz:

we had a bottle of the mission hill five vineyards merlot, which was very reasonably priced.

all in all, we had a really lovely evening of attentive and warm service and gorgeous food in a huge but cozy room. we will definitely be back!

Quentina

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we had an awesome dinner here last night! 

i had the linguine to start with (due to your review) and fine myself craving for it this morning!  it was delicious.  the pasta was perfectly al dente, the seafood fresh and the sauce simple and so savoury and tasty.  the bf had the soup and it was very nice as well, but i loved my pasta more!  we both had the veal and hands down, one of the best veal dishes we've ever had.  rich marsala and mushroom sauce, the veal was practically melt in your mouth.  so good.  i had the tiramisu (i know, so cliche, but a craving needed to be filled) and he had the orange cake.  both were good, simple and clean flavoured.  i actually liked the fact that the desserts were on the small side as i have a bad habit of eating all of my dessert!  :raz:

we had a bottle of the mission hill five vineyards merlot, which was very reasonably priced.

all in all, we had a really lovely evening of attentive and warm service and gorgeous food in a huge but cozy room.  we will definitely be back!

Glad to read you enjoyed it.

Please note: as an e-gulleter you should know that eating all of your dessert is NOT a bad habit! :wink:

Elizabeth

"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook".

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^^ yayy!!! gbp, here i come!!

i've now renamed that seafood linguine "crack pasta". i had such a strong craving for it all day that i had to do a take out for dinner tonight, and it was just as good as it was last night. :wacko:

Quentina

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Don Francesco has long been our favourite "under the radar" restaurant in Vancouver. I mean on eGullet there are thousand of posts about Kolachies, and Feenies, and Chambar and such - but where, until just recently, has there ever been any discussion about Don Francesco - a serious temple of good Italianate cuisine?

DF is of course not trendy. The ambience and the clientele may be a touch too Las Vegas for some - but we have always found the absence of the Yaletown crowd rather refreshing. Manolo Blahnik's and cleavage make a nice change from Doc Marten's and black turtlenecks.

One of our favourite restaurants anywhere is Emilios in Zurich. While there last November we got into a conversation with the adjacent table and when they heard we were from Vancouver the Swiss gentleman excalimed "Ach Vancouver - then you must know Don Francesco's".

Thus are fine friendships born. It turned into a very long evening and even longer weekend.

We consider Don Francesco and Cioppino's to be two of the finest Italian/Italianesque restaurants anywhere - and they are right here in our sleepy little town.

If you haven't tried the Vintner's Duck at DF - well it just doesn't get any better.

I fully expect to see the flashes of eGulleteer cameras on our next visit.

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Don Francesco has long been our favourite "under the radar" restaurant in Vancouver. I mean on eGullet there are thousand of posts about Kolachies, and Feenies, and Chambar and such - but where, until just recently, has there ever been any discussion about Don Francesco - a serious temple of good Italianate cuisine?

And so the beauty of eGullet (and DOV) is revealed once again.

Ducky, you may rue the day this forum "outed" one of your "under the radar" favorites. I've driven by this place for quite a while without thought of ever passing through its door. Nothing to do with trendy. Just too many other options. Don Francesco is an afterthought no more!

A.

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Don Francesco has long been our favourite "under the radar" restaurant in Vancouver. I mean on eGullet there are thousand of posts about Kolachies, and Feenies, and Chambar and such - but where, until just recently, has there ever been any discussion about Don Francesco - a serious temple of good Italianate cuisine?

And so the beauty of eGullet (and DOV) is revealed once again.

Ducky, you may rue the day this forum "outed" one of your "under the radar" favorites. I've driven by this place for quite a while without thought of ever passing through its door. Nothing to do with trendy. Just too many other options. Don Francesco is an afterthought no more!

A.

Same here. I've seen their ads in the paper for years but I've never heard much else about the restaurant, so I've always passed it over on those rare occasions where I get to choose a nicer restaurant for dinner. Thanks for the recommendation. I've always noted that they seem to have quite a few game dishes on the menu, and that's another big draw for me.

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We've been fans and supporters of Don Francesco's from before the restaurant opened and Francesco was maitre d' at Il Giardino. He sings a mean operatic version of Happy Birthday, just so you know. The atmosphere is not trendy at all - very old school - but there's nothing wrong with pictures of Francesco arm in arm with Tony Bennett when the food and service is that great! The Liberace pic is pushing it though . . . :laugh:

Glad to see it get some attention - Francesco's been at this game a long time and deserves it.

Laura Fauman

Vancouver Magazine

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  • 2 weeks later...

Four of us ate at Don Francesco on Saturday night. I must say that I have walked by this restaurant many times and not given it a second thought. The two husbands in our group wanted to try it and not knowing much about it, I went with very little in the way of expectations.

I started with the mussels which were done very well - plump, moist and a nice broth. Others in our group had the lobster bisque, which was pronounced very good, and the escargot. The escargot were fabulous...........a huge portion of tasty, tender morsels. No rubberiness at all.

My husband and I shared the duck, which I can highly recommend. It was probably one of the best duck dishes I have eaten. It is slow roasted for hours and comes out meltingly tender. It almost has the silky quality of a good duck confit. The portion is huge - a whole duck carved tableside for two. The skin is crispy with great spices rubbed in. Served with potatoes and veg. $60 for two people.

Others at our table had lasagne and the special of the night, seafood linguine. Pronounced very good by all.

For dessert we were very full so our waiter brought us a varied selection of gelatos and sorbets and four spoons to share. It was a perfect ending to a very filling meal.

The ambience is very "old" world. Personally I loved it. It is very comforting and homey on a winters night. The place was absolutely packed on a Saturday night, so I am assuming they have a regular following.

To me this is a restaurant that has flown under the radar of many a foodie in Vancouver and needs to be brought out into the spotlight.

Life is short, eat dessert first

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