Situated in the heart of Vancouver’s bustling downtown, Francesco’s Ristorante Italia has been winning the hearts and stomachs of locals and tourists for years with its classic Italian fare and warm and inviting atmosphere. It has even been known to play host to a long list of celebs, from Ben Affleck, Al Pacino, Ben Stiller, and Halle Berry to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. But don’t think you need to be an A-lister to get the red-carpet treatment at Francesco’s – everyone is treated like royalty.
Whether you’re a serious foodie, or like us, just appreciate a great meal, this fine dining establishment will have you wanting to shout out, “delizioso!”
Featuring traditional dishes prepared with the finest and freshest ingredients, and inspired from seven regions of Francesco Alongi’s native Italy, Francesco’s extensive menu includes mouth-watering delicacies such as wild boar filet, roast loin of venison, and the famous slow-roasted duck a la Vignarola. In addition, you can expect treats such as veal marsala, Osso Buco, chicken tetrazzini, a wide range of pastas, and, lest we forget, to-die-for desserts. Our personal favourite entree, and also Francesco’s, is the roasted rack of lamb with rosemary, dijon mustard, and pistachio. Can we say scrumptious?
And how did this famed restaurant come to be? Fine food, music and people have always been Francesco Alongi’s passion, and the restaurant business is in his blood. At the age of 12, Italian-born Francesco began working at the family restaurant Grande Albergo Belvedere in Sicily. His father noted his passion for the culinary arts and sent him to Rome to study under his uncle, and gain a fuller understanding of the industry. It was in Rome where Francesco met and studied under famous chefs such as Chef Scardina and Chef Montini, among others, from whom he learned classic styles and recipes represented in the food Francesco’s offers today.
Francesco dreamed of one day opening up his own restaurant, and after many years of applying his skills at establishments around Italy, France, England, and in our very own Vancouver, he continued his family legacy of dedication to true hospitality with the opening of his restaurant.
Francesco’s Ristorante Italia is located at 860 Burrard Street. Article contributed by Lesley Mirza.