Francesca’s Bistro: Middling NY Times Review, More Favorable Online Ratings

A New York Times food critic rated the Coventry restaurant “Good.” Online reviews are more positive.

(Image from the Francesca's Italian Bistro Facebook page)
(Image from the Francesca's Italian Bistro Facebook page)

With a reputation for good food in Coventry and a recent relocation to Main Street, Francesca’s Italian Bistro recently gained the attention of a New York Times food critic.

In his recent review in the Connecticut regional section of the Times, Rand Richards Cooper rated the Connecticut bistro “Good,” on a rating scale of Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor.

Cooper praised the starters, especially those with a truffled balsamic glaze. He noted the “dessert-sweet” chicken Mediterranean dish didn’t harmonize with its basil pesto, though he said the cavatelli Siciliana successfully featured the chef’s preference for citrus.

“To me its confusing signals make dining here a mixed blessing,” Cooper concluded in his review.

More Positive Reviews on the Web

Diners who rate Francesca's on online websites, are much more positive.

Francesca’s Open Table profile rates the eatery 4.1 out of 5 stars, with more than 75 reviews. Some are fixated with the tastiness of the food and the charm of the bistro atmosphere. The restaurant has been tagged “neighborhood gem” more than 55 times.

“We love Francesca's and often take out of town friends there,” said one Open Table review from May 8. “Everyone leaves well fed and we find our guests are more than impressed with how much fun everyone is having.”

There are a few complains on Open Table about service, which Cooper described as “effusively friendly” on one night and “snarky and neglectful” on another. One reviewer on Yelp also complained about slow and inattentive service.

But on Yelp, Francesca's is rated positively, with 3.5 out of 5 stars from six customer reviews, all posted before the recent relocation. Some reviews describe the food as “really good,” “awesome” and “excellent.”

On Urbanspoon, Francesca's has also collected a few reviews — nine so far, which are mostly positive. “Stick to authentic Italian foods,” said one review from February. “Its what is always best.”

Francesca’s Italian Bistro

1203 Main Street, Coventry CT
(860) 498-0626

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 3:30 to 10 p.m.


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