Coventry >Food & Dining > Francesca's Italian Bistro
7 Daly Rd, Coventry, CT | Directions 0623841.784209 -72.333508
Is this really Tuscany in the back woods of Connecticut ?
Through word-of-mouth I found out about this new restaurant that opened up in Coventry called Francesca's. They had praises for the chicken Parmesan. It was not long before I had to try it out. We went at 4pm on a Friday.
In the immediate area is a sports bar, a package store and a convenience store. Cars and trucks constantly come and go kicking up dust and gravel, so I parked my car over by the far end near the trees, away from all the traffic.
We almost turned around and walked out when we saw how cramped their dining room was. My living room at home is bigger than this entire restaurant with kitchen. We were hungry and it was too late to turn back. The center of the room was occupied by a table with four people, so we grabbed a table in one of the corners.
They had a sign up "no beer or wine", so we ordered water. Liz wants soda-water (from a soda dispenser without flavor syrup, in some places this is free). The waiter brings us a bottle of Pellegrino ($5) and one glass. I said okay but I want my own glass; he brings me tap water with two ice cubes already half-melted.
Looking at the menu we both thought most items were far too pricey. We opted for the cheap & quick burger and fries. (which ended up being neither quick nor cheap). The menu listed onion rings but the waiter told me they ran out. The waiter seemed snooty with us after we didn't order any of their $$$$ meals.
The kitchen grill and the cook are out in plain view of the dining room. Nice to be able to watch how your food is cooked but the smoke fills up the entire room with sometimes not-so-nice odors.
We waited for what seemed like forever. They did not start cooking ours until after the party of four got served. We sipped our waters and gazed out at the fine view of the parking lot.
The burger sandwich fell apart while you ate it. The hard roll was not fresh and broke apart at the folds. The meat was weak in flavor (I was expecting barbeque maybe?). Inside were tomato "chunks" (outside skin only) instead of round whole slices of whole tomato. I don't like this and I don't understand why they do it.
Noise level is unacceptable. There was a party of four in the middle of the room, and they were nice people, but they were so close to us I was unable to hear my Liz speak. Also the cook was blasting strange music from his portable radio.
I can't understand why anybody would dine here more than once. Coventry Lake has other excellent restaurants like Lakeview or Coventry Pizza.
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