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“Best in Williamsburg”

Francesco's Ristorante Italiano
Ranked #8 of 393 Restaurants in Williamsburg
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$6 - US$25
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Business meetings, Child-friendly
Dining options: After-hours, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Description: Now Offering Delivery Service!
Reviewed 6 June 2014

Wife and I frequent this restaurant because of the food, service and personal touch from the owner. GREAT RESTAURANT!!!!!

2  Thank Matt B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (944)
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443 - 447 of 944 reviews

Reviewed 6 June 2014

I have not been to this restaurant in quite a while. I have missed a lot. The food and service was excellent. The owner is very visible and makes sure each diner is satisfied. The food is prepared with passion to satisfy the most discriminating palate.

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3  Thank harveyf4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2014

I took my family here for dinner looking for something better than the typical chain restaurants. The place is tiny. But it has the feel of a European kitchen that we are so fond of when overseas. The appetizers were well prepared and delicious. The Bruschetta Alla Siciliana was gone within minutes of arrival. The salad was fresh but nothing special except the in-house dressing which was wonderful. The staff is very friendly and disarming. Within minutes, we were made to feel like regulars. Its formal dining without the formality. The food is very much upscale in style, yet without the pomp usually associated with that type of dining. Its like eating in a friend's home, but the friend just happens to be a world class Chef. The entrees we tried varied from Manicotti Florentine, several variations of pasta dishes with baseball sized meatballs, chicken and sausage offerings all the way to Pizza for my daughter. The sauces were very delicate and light, seasoned perfectly and don't get me started on the fresh baked bread. The Chef has a passion for food and you can taste it. With seven of us, rarely are we all satisfied with the restaurant choice, but that is exactly what happened here. I have read a few negative reviews on here. This style of dining is not for everyone. This is not American style Italian. This is not Olive Garden (no offense). If you are worried about the price, you probably won't appreciate the food. But if you have a discerning pallet, and are looking for an intimate but casual experience, you must give this place a try. I'm looking forward to returning with some business associates and sampling the wine selection. Thank you for one of the best meals and relaxing evening I have enjoyed with my family in a long time.

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3  Thank remark757
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2014

We found this restaurant our last day in Williamsburg. The atmosphere was very relaxing, service is very attentive and friendly and the great tasting fresh food is true Italian. The chef/owner came out to greet us and asked if we needed any special preparation of what we ordered. Great family business and it appears that the locals frequent on a regular basis. Please try this wonderful family owned business with great service and fresh robust tasting meals.

2  Thank Mary R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2014

We chose Francesco’s Restaurant based on internet reviews since we were visiting the area and were unfamiliar with the local restaurants. We had a party of six. I was extremely disappointed in our dining experience at Francesco’s. I felt that it was overpriced based on the quality of the food. I also felt that the décor was below average, especially relative to the price.
I had the linguine with red clam sauce. I felt that the portion was small and the dish was shallow. The clamshells in the sauce were the smallest clams I ever have seen and it was a great deal of work getting the clams out of the tiny shells. The red tomato sauce itself was average. The other diners at our table found the food to be average.
I did not like the atmosphere of the dining room. There was no Maître D, manager or receptionist to seat us; rather, we were seated by a waiter. The only employees I saw were the waiters and a waitress. The reason I mention that was because the service was by far the worst part of our experience and it’s clear that a competent manager could have vastly improved our dining experience. The waiter was more like a car salesman than a hospitality employee. When I ordered a glass of house wine he recommended a ½ carafe, suggesting that I would save money with a half carafe if I decided to order a second glass. I accepted, and, when the bill arrived, the price of the half carafe was $16.99, which I felt was high. When ordering dinner, as each of us made our order, he suggested extras. Be it extra clams, a side order of chicken, add sun dried tomatoes; it was uncomfortable as he made suggestions to each of us as he took the order. It was clear he was not trying to add to our experience, but, was simply trying to raise the bill. There was an overt manner about his suggestions that made me uncomfortable. I found it disturbing the way he tried to push the items upon us. It was especially troubling when he did it to my children because it seemed like he was trying to trick them as well as circumventing our authority as parents relative to our children’s food. When it came time for the food, all of our food was not delivered at the same time. I saw that I was not going to finish the ½ wine carafe so I asked for an extra wine glass for my wife. No, problem said the waiter; he’ll be right back with a glass. We didn’t see him again until we were almost done with dinner. By that time my wife started using her water glass for the wine. When the waiter brought our check, he explained, in a condescending tone, that there is an automatic 20% gratuity attached to parties of six or more. He quipped that if we wanted to add more to the tip it would be fine as he chuckled at his joke which was obviously well practiced by him on other customers. This affirmed my feeling of him raising the bill without really being concerned about our dining experience. To me, he was simply raising his 20% guaranteed tip without concerning himself with our needs as customers. It truly left us with a feeling of buyer’s remorse after dining at Francesco’s. I felt ripped off and used.
I would absolutely not recommend this restaurant to anyone. I especially would caution vacationers to avoid this establishment. It seemed as if they feel like they should get as much money out of vacationers because you probably will never be back anyway. In our case that is the absolute truth. Except, we expect to travel to the area again, we simply will avoid Francesco's.

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2  Thank Joseph R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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