A few weeks ago we went to see the 80’s musical Rock of Ages with my Aunt and Uncle (see Rock of Ages blog). The show started at 8pm so we needed to have an early dinner before hand. I was craving pasta so we made a 6pm reservation at Don Francesco Ristorante on Burrard. The restaurant was opened in 2002 by Francesco Alongi opera singer and host. Don Francesco is a high-end fine Italian restaurant with a large dining area in front, a smaller, darker (more romantic) dining area in back, a lounge, a private dining room and outdoor patio on Burrard Street. The decor is dark wood with mediterranean terra cotta colours and white linen and reminded me a bit of nearby Cin Cin. Arriving at 6pm is was not very busy but the restaurant filled up as we ate so reservations are a good idea.
Food and Service
Our waiter was old. No other way to say it. And seemed a bit distracted. Luckily he had a good assistant to clean our glasses and plates and keep things rolling along in a nice manner. The menu is classic Italian and huge – cold and hot appetizers, salads, soups, pasta, risotto, entrees, from the charcoal grill and from the sea. It is also quite pricey except for the pasta dishes which turned out to be quite large portions. We decided to have a drink to start and watched our waiter give all four of us each other’s drinks (we had a chuckle). Jeff decided not to have an appetizer to save room for his pasta but the other three of us went for it. I ordered the Lobster Bisque. It was a very creamy and smooth in-house shellfish stock served with chunks of fresh lobster meat and crème fraiche. The lobster was very tender and the soup delicious. My uncle went with the Classic Caesar Salad which was a large portion and my aunt had the fresh crab and avocado salad which was a small portion. Our waiter did warn us about the small portion for the price stating that the crab was very fresh and that BC crab was more expensive than importing it.
For main courses we all decided to have pasta. I had looked at the menu online before we went but with a dozen or so pasta choices it was a tough decision and the menu online is currently not the same as the menu in the restaurant (just so you know). Jeff ordered Tortellini Alfredo stuffed with chicken, veal, cheese and herbs in a creamy cheese sauce. My uncle ordered Fettucini Alfredo with proscuitto and peas and my aunt chose the Gorgonzola Gnocchi in a white wine cream sauce. I chose Squash Ravioli in tomato sauce topped with a mushrooms. It was easy to tell the difference between this high-end pasta house and others we have visited. The pasta was obviously very fresh as were the sauces. All of the dishes were served piping hot which is difficult to do with pasta. The fillings of the tortellini and the ravioli were very flavourful and the pasta was actually stuffed full – not pancake thin. The food was all very good.
If we are craving pasta we will go back because it was very good but with so many other choices (that specialized in other items) we would not likely go for seafood or steak.