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Is villa francesca any good?

How is this place? A quick search on Chowhound and elsewhere suggests it is mediocre food and overpriced. Do current hounds concur?

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  1. Hi,

    Do you like Ragu, canned olives, mushy pasta and enough salt to send your blood pressure through the roof? Then you will love Francescas. It might have been good when Mr. Bob Hope himself ate there (pictures all over the place of all his visits, supposedly the only place he'd eat when he visited Boston), but I would never recommend it to anyone now.

      1. Thanks. It was as I feared.

        1. I think you are getting mixed up with the old felicias restaurant
          on richmond st. as well(across the street from vill francesca)
          Bob Hope always went there and he was friends with felica.
          felicia used to go to bob hope's home every year to cook for the bob hope golf classic tournament. The old FElicias was very good--villa francesca's not good!!

          frankie Imbergamo

          1. There was no tactful way to get out of this so our party of eight went to Villa Francesca and boy was it a rip off. The food isn't dreadful, just not worth $90 a head. I had a veal chop that was OK served with a porcini risotto made from what seemed to be minute rice. That they would charge what they did and not use arborio rice is positively shameful. Flavors were insipid and dishonest, catering to tourists who don't know any better. For example, an arugula salad was served with sweet cloying vinagrette that tasted like bottled, that had to be scraped off to get any sense of the peppery bite of the underlying arugula. They served tomatoes that were tasteless, which would seem near impossible to do during August when you can't swing a cat without knocking off perfect ripe tomatoes from the garden. It seems that good Italian food is about serving the best fresh ingredients simply and with love. This is not the mission statement at the Villa. It brought a tear to my eye passing a dozen excellent restaurants to come to this theme park of a trattoria to eat. Rant over.

            1. In addition to the food being mediocre, I recall the wine was ridiculously overpriced, even by North End standards.

              1. next time in the North end try out L"osteria on salem st--you will not be dissapointed--the food is always fresh--and delicious!!

                let me know!

                Frankie Imbergamo

                1. Yes, definitely look into L'Osteria, or perhaps Pagliuca's on Parmenter Street. Both are excellent.

                  1. It's funny how some restaurants come and go. Villa Francesca's has been in operation for more than 25 years and has a regulars list of who's who in Boston, that could well afford to eat anywhere. My wife and I have been dining there well over 25 years and have always enjoyed their food. Is it gourmet? No. Is it the best restaurant in Boston? Probably not. But any guests I've taken there have always gone back.

                    Remember, these replies are only someone's personal opinion, and it's possible they don't really know good Italian cooking.

                    There are those who actually think that New York has better pizza than any place in Boston. Take that for what it's worth.
                    And by the way, they probably think George Steinbrenner is a nice guy.

                    Go to V.F. and enjoy!


                    4 Replies
                    1. re: CocoDan

                      Nothing wrong with diverging opinions of course! But, as someone who has been following Gourmaniac's posts for a couple of years, I believe that they absolutely do know good Italian cooking (and good food in general). I went once a couple of years ago with a friend who wanted to try it. While it's not terrible, with all the wonderful restaurants using fresh ingredients and better execution surrounding it, I have to agree.

                      1. re: Rubee

                        Dear Rubee, thanks for your kind words of support. I was not going to respond to the veiled condescension. The wonderful thing about this site is that opinions can be offered and judged and used by each of us as we see fit. I have often been provided by delightful meals by posters here and also been prevented from costly mistakes. I wrote my original post with the latter in mind.

                        1. re: gourmaniac

                          Just a reminder, Folks, ALL opinions about restaurants and food are welcome here, the only opinions that are not welcome are those about other Chowhounds, (and we don't see that occuring in this thread).

                          So don't worry if your opinions are divergent, that is one of the great aspects of Chowhound, we all have our own way of seeing things.

                          Now back to the chow.

                      2. re: CocoDan

                        Hey CocoDan,

                        I'm taking it for what it's worth, all right.