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3.5
  • Food4
  • Service3.5
  • Value3
  • Ambiance4
  • Reviews33

Don Francesco Ristorante

860 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z1X9
Tel: (604) 685-7770 Reserve Online
Neighbourhood: Central

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 20 of 33 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Hit and miss...mostly hit!
By Italian-guy of Downtown&Burnaby (60 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, February 23, 2015 - 2:48pm [Dine in]

We held a family special occasion here for 15 people. We ordered one of the set menus, in this case
The Don Francesco menu at 95/head (Family style platters).
The good- The service was competent and attentive, very top notch. The mains were fantastic! the platters were
Halibut,rack of lamb and osso bucco (each individual plate had the sides already on when served). The Osso Buco was the best I've ever had! Dark rich and generous! The lamb was equally well executed and the halibut was fine, portions were more than fine. Of the three pastas (Duck sausage,Farfalle with seafood and penne smoked salmon) I would have to give the nod the the smoked salmon pasta. A clear yet creamy sauce complimenting the wonderful smoked salmon. The other pastas were very very good.
Wine list was fairly extensive and fairly average price wise, they had excellent beers on tap (Stella, Peroni etc) so there were options.
The bad- The appy platters were way below the price point and quality of the rest of the meal. It consisted of Cesar salad, Deli stiffed olives and I swear salami and mortadella from what I think was the mixed "Citero" pack from costco! The seafood vol au vonts were decent but not memorable. They did some prosciutto in the platter also but I'm sure it wasn't Parma (the real thing) or enough for that matter. House bread was plentiful and delicious.
The ambiance is nicely done and the place is spacious and quite (until we got there!) they platted a cake for us at no charge and added a raspberry coulis to the cake..classy.
All in all a nice experience, would go back just for the Osso Bucco!

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Beautiful Italian restaurant on Burrard, food is a 3.5 out of 5 for me
By BigAnthony of North Burnaby (106 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 17, 2011 - 7:30pm [Dine in]

Went here for lunch with a friend, it's a beautiful restaurant.
Appetizer I had was - BEEF CARPACCIO A LA ROMAGNOLA CON ARUGULA E PINOLI $16.95
Was good but different then the usual carpaccio I would eat. It had mustard and capers on it. It was tasty but I prefer it without the extras added.
My pasta was - RIGATONI A LA BOLOGNESE $19.95
Once again, good pasta.. nothing special that I would tell all my friends about or anything but I had a good meal.
Overall the place is very nice, the staff were nice and the food was good. I'd give the food a 3.5 out of 5.

Would I return.. well I don't think I would recommend this place, it's good but not "awesome" to me.. I would return here if someone else wanted me to come along with them though.

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For the price it should be exceptional but it's not even average
By VJB of abbotsford (171 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - 11:33am [Dine in]

My husband was on their website and he said that he liked the menu and wanted to try it out. They do not show prices on their menu on line.

We thought it would be a fine dining experience but we were seated and finished in an hour and 20 minutes.

Service was very good but that is the only positive that I can say about the evening.

Wines are outrageously marked up.

For dinner we shared a penne arrabiata. It was nicely seasoned but it was chewey (not al dente). For the main courses I had the sea bass (33.00) and my husband had the tuscan chicken (29.95). The sea bass was nice and moist but completely lacking in flavour or seasoning. It was supposed to have tomato, onion and garlic sauce. The was a tiny tomato on the plate but no sauce on the fish. Vegetables consisted of bitter bak choi, tough green bean, hard potato and broccoli that had seen better days.

The desserts were all $10.95, even the ice cream. I can't believe the audacity of charging $10.95 for ice cream. We went out for ice cream instead.

Ambiance is okay but for the prices they charge it should be more than a bistro type atmosphere and we should not be seated so close to the other tables that we can hear their conversation and see exactly what they're having for dinner.

With a bottle of wine, a dish of pasta, two entrees and coffee the bill was $138.00 with taxes and before tip.

For the price there are far better restaurants to spend your money. We would not return.

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Five Star Experience!
By diningRL of East Vancouver (65 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, August 28, 2008 - 11:33pm [Dine in]

This is my first five star rating ever and I believe it's justified! Had a goodbye dinner with some colleagues at this restaurant and the entire experience was magnificent.

The service was excellent. We had the private guest room near the back of the restaurant and our two servers were extremely attentive, personable, knowledgeable on both food, wine, and various cultures, and generally a great pleasure to deal with. Francesco made it a point to not only drop by to say hello to us, but to all the other tables in the restaurant as well.

The food... delicious. I had the grilled calamari salad, halibut cheek fillets, and pear sorbet, while the others tried the various pastas and seafood dishes on the menu. Everything we had was stellar!

The ambiance is more towards the romantic side, as the house lights are quite dim and there are ample candles throughout the restaurant.

The musicians were not in on this night, so we didn't get a chance to hear Francesco sing - which I hear is great, as he is an opera singer.

The pricing is on the high-side, but putting it in context (fine dining establishment) - the quality, service, and ambiance we received - the value is there. I definitely recommend this restaurant when you feel like treating yourself and your partner to a special evening on a special occasion!

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Looking for fine dining experience? Skip this place - Very Disappointing!
By sheribod of Port Moody (2 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, February 15, 2015 - 2:37pm [Dine in]

My husband and I decided to try this place for Valentine's Day dinner as it was recommended as a romantic fine dining restaurant. I wish we would have spent our $400 dinner at the Keg, we would have had a much better time and had much better service! I realize that Valentine's night is a very busy night for restaurants but we had a late reservation (8:30) and our server was pushing us to order before we even had a drink in front of us! He informed us that it takes a long time to cook after he tried to get us to order for the third time. I was not told that there would be a time limit on the table and when I asked him if there was another seating after us he said "no".

There was a preset menu for $95 dollars so we already knew we would be spending over a couple hundred $ then adding cocktails and wine on top of that. We ordered our food and our cocktails came out at the same time as our appetizer. When we tried to order some wine the first 3 ones we picked they were out of, our server didn't apologize or try to recommend something different. When he went to check on the fourth bottle he finally brought one over that he recommended, since they were also out of the fourth bottle. He gave us the impression that we were actually bothering him. In fact the entire time we were there our server was very unpleasant to deal with and made us feel that we were inconveniencing him whenever we asked for things that you should just expect in a fine dining experience. The rest of the dinner went smoothly, thanks only to the support staff, until dessert.

He never asked us if we were ready for dessert, he just brought it out, never even asking us if we wanted coffee or tea. My husband stopped him as asked for an English Breakfast tea and a few minutes later our server dumped the tea off and immediately left. The tea was actually Earl Grey but my husband decided to go with it, but had to stopped another server to get some cream. This was the first time ever that we actually even contemplated not tipping a thing, although we still did because the other staff that served us was wonderful and the food was very good.

On the way out I was so upset that we spend so much on such a terrible experience I complained to the hostess on the way out, she promised me a better time and a better server if we give them another try. I believe in second chances but I'm not sure I would actually want to chance or spend the money for such a bad experience again.

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DOV 2009--> Much better than expected!
By Trevor of Vancouver (60 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, January 29, 2009 - 2:57am [Dine in]

Tonight a group of friends and I went to Francesco for DineOut. Not really knowing what to expect, I left the restaurant feeling full and quite satisfied.

I'll start off with service. Waitstaff are polite and courteous, but not too friendly. Not once did our server(s) to attempt to make any small talk with us, but they were efficient in their job otherwise. Water glasses always filled, additional rounds of drinks offered in a timely fashion, bread basket refilled w/o having to ask. Some confusion as to who our server actually was because different ppl took our drink and dinner orders.

The food actually surprised me, in a good way. When reading the menu, nothing jumped out at me as a "must-have." But almost everything that our group tried was well-received.
Appies: rigatoni, tortellini (big portion!) and fish soup were all delicious.
Entrees: Beef filet vol-au-vent was made well, only slight disappointment was that the pastry got soggy quite quickly. Chicken/Quail pairing was very tasty--quail meat was so tender and flavourful! The only entree that was mediocre was the baked Crab seafood dish.
Dessert: Tried all 3 on the menu. All were yummy but the tiramisu and limoncello parfait were fabulous. Portions could have been a bit bigger, but they still were a great ending to an excellent meal.

I gave this place a rating of "outstanding" for value, but keep in mind that this was for DineOut. The food seems quite pricey, though, if ordering from the regular menu.

The restaurant itself was lovely. Spacious and nicely-lit with candles at each table, while Italian music played softly in the background. Not too loud or quiet, so seems to be good for small groups or a romantic date.

I will return when my wallet can take the hit.

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Good Italian Food
By Spicerum of Kitsilano BC (6 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, August 31, 2015 - 1:44pm [Dine in]

Great location on Burrard St. Very convenient to meet up people. Good Italian food with good Old school service. Lot of Game to try and good selection of wines. Seems a bit pricey but considering the location its very reasonable. Will keep coming back. This absolutely is one of the nicest restaurants in Vancouver.

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like it, not love it
By pierelarauri of Vancouver (5 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 7:22pm [Dine in]

i think the place is good, the food is good and not so pricy but it has things to improve because i don't really see it as and outstanding place, its good but nos amazing so i wouldn't recomended. i think it can definitely improve on service and food, good luck you guys

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A bit cold by the door
By bobo of vancouver (47 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 10:03pm [Dine in]

4 to dine out. For starters, the pasta dishes were the best I've ever tasted. The pasta were all perfectly cooked, the sauces and seasoning authentic and absolutely delicious. The restaurant then threw in a free salad which had really good balsamic vineger. The main dishes, however, weren't to my liking. The veal and fillet of sole both had some kind of sticky sauce on them neither of which were particularly appealing. The chicken was fairly good if only they would remove the thigh bone. For desserts, the tiramisu and orange were both good. The pear tart unfortunately had a thick glaze that was too sweet. Highly recommend their coffees. Service was good but intruding at times.

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An Impressive First Dinner
By FitFoodie of kitsilano vacouver (24 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, December 11, 2011 - 12:45pm [Dine in]

Had dinner here for the first time on Saturday night. Our friend from out of town was visiting and we booked a table for four. My husband and I arrived a few minutes early. The place was full but the staff was accommodating and quickly got us set up at the bar while we waited. Soon after, we were seated at a cozy table for four. When plans changed last minute and one more diner was added to our group we were moved to a bigger table with literally no wait and no questions asked. The food was excellent, if a bit pricey. My husband and I both had the buffalo mozzarella salad to start. It was fabulous and a decent sized portion. Three out of five of us ordered the squash agnolotti for the main. It was delicious with a hint of garlic, lots of mushrooms and a drizzle of truffle oil. My husband had the steak, which he said was excellent and it also looked to be a good size. Our other friend enjoyed a plate of the spaghetti bolognese. The menu is huge and can be a bit overwhelming if you're feeling indecisive. They have many pasta dishes to choose from but there are also quite literally pages of meat, game, chicken, and fish dishes. Dessert selection was pretty extensive and varied. We chose the chocolate ganache cake to share and were glad we did because the slice they brought us was enormous. Our friends shared the tiramisu and said it was great. Service was very attentive all throughout the evening. Bread baskets were replenished without our having to ask, and wine and water glasses were continuously topped up. Because the restaurant was full with a lot of Christmas parties on the lower level especially the atmosphere was quite lively and loud. All in all, it was a fabulous meal. We would definitely go back but probably for a special occasion since the prices are a little on the steep side.

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yum yum and yum
By honorberry of kits, vancouver (43 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, September 14, 2009 - 5:38pm [Dine in]

Don Francesco's is one of my top Italian restaurant choices. I don't go as often as i find it's on the pricey side - the lunch time menu is excellent value for money.

On my last visit, we were a party of 12, we were 'given' our own seating area with a 'custom' menu. Food and service are alway consistently good.

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Intruding at times but still gets an A+
By Jtoc of Vancity (13 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - 9:45am [Dine in]

4 to dine out. For starters, the pasta dishes were the best I've ever tasted. The pasta were all perfectly cooked, the sauces and seasoning authentic and absolutely delicious. The restaurant then threw in a free salad which had really good balsamic vineger. The main dishes, however, weren't to my liking. The veal and fillet of sole both had some kind of sticky sauce on them neither of which were particularly appealing. The chicken was fairly good if only they would remove the thigh bone. For desserts, the tiramisu and orange were both good. The pear tart unfortunately had a thick glaze that was too sweet. Highly recommend their coffees. Service was good but intruding at times

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Great Tiramisu
By gakky of richmond (10 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, February 3, 2008 - 10:03pm [Dine in]

Went here for Dineout, I like the restaurant itself, really feels Italian. Sat by the window and was really comfortable till a junkie walked by outside in the courtyard and started climbing into the bush... I guess thats not the restaurants fault though. Service was a little slow, but I guess it was dineout and the restaurant was full and we were sitting in a corner. Appy's were pretty good (seafood linguine and soup). Had the cod for main, it was not bad, nothing too special though. Probably should have gone with the Veal instead. The dessert was great though, Tiramisu really light and flavourful, the other pear tart and orange cake were good. The staff was nice though, they keep making jokes that none of us understood, maybe its italian humor or something.

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Good find
By foodiebabe of Victoria (18 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, May 31, 2007 - 4:09pm [Dine in]

A colleague and I decided to pop in for lunch, and had a very good experience. As it was a warm day, we chose to sit outside, although the inside looked quite sophisticated. The insalata fantasia was delectable, the tangy goat cheese blending well with the avocado and ham. My colleague seemed to enjoy her mushroom soup too. For mains we both had the daily pasta special - a rich and creamy seafood fettucine. The pasta was perfectly cooked, the seasoning just right. Lots of shrimp and mussels too, so it was nice that they didn't skimp on the seafood. The service was friendly and attentive. Quick too, but then again, they weren't busy at all. We were full, so opted out of dessert, but I am keen to go back for a dinner and try that too. Recommended.

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It was alright.
By cmx_baby of Coquitlam (38 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, November 13, 2011 - 12:25pm [Dine in]

We got a gift card for this place and decided to try it out. For some reason I always considered it to be a tourist trap, maybe because of it's location.

The inside is kind of dark and old, like a classic italian restaurant. The servers are all older male and seem to be staring at you from the shadows while you dine. The menu is large and has alot to offer for people who enjoy meat such as wild boar dishes.

To start we ordered the lobster bisque and the grilled calamari salad. The nutmeg in the bisque was overpowering the whole dish but the calamari salad wasn't too bad. My boyfriend thought it was almost undercooked, but atleast it wasn't overcooked!

For entree's we had the spaghetti agli olio and the fungi risotto. The spaghetti was okay, perfectly al dente but a little dry and felt like it was lacking just a bit in flavour. The risotto was pretty good, can't go wrong with truffle oil and mushrooms!

For dessert we share a panna cotta, which was fine.

All in all it was alright, everything seemed overcharged because of the location so it's probably better as a "special occasion" type of place but there are places around town that have the same quality of the items we ordered for less. And our waiter was overly hands on, as he kept on touching our utensils, glassses, etc which was kind of strange.

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This is a bit uneven
By Chicklet of West Vancouver (21 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, April 5, 2013 - 10:13pm [Dine in]

The ambiance is lovely and the guitar player a nice touch. The food is mediocre. My standards are high since I cook a lot but the dishes were without a doubt very mediocre. I had a small spinach and strawberry salad to start which had no dressing and tasted bland for nineteen dollars. The risotto with three carefully placed prawns was ok but very uninspiring. I am a local but this truly is a hotel tourist trap. I wish them well. the place was full and there were happy sounds coming from other tables. The staff is lovely. The food could certainly be pulled up a few notches. I was dying to go into the kitchen to re-invent what I was give. My dinner companion said all was agreeable but he eats everything ( read anything ) with pleasure :)

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First time there and will be back for sure
By salmonlover of north vancouver (3 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, July 22, 2011 - 9:43am [Dine in]

Went for dinner for the first time and will definitely go back. We started with calarmari and it was delicious. Wanted to try the authentic pasta dishes so we ordered the meatballs and a lasagne - both were outstanding and the portion size was just right. Had to try the tiramasu and my husband order the lemon desert and they were delicious. Overall experience was very good and would definitely be back. Not sure I could manage three courses again though as they were all wonderful but with the size of them probably should have sacrificed the desert or appetizer as was pretty full at the end of it. Love the decor and layout of the place and would be a great restaurant for special occasions as has that more formal atmosphere to it.

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Very nice Dine Out experience
By tasteofvancouver of Vancouver (28 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, May 3, 2010 - 8:34pm [Dine in]

This restaurant was the first of my two Dine Out Vancouver reservations for this year. I'd always wanted to try this place and since I liked the Dine Out menu, I decided that it's time.

We were seated as soon as we arrived at the restaurant and took a look at the wine menu. It was very extensive. There was a good selection of Italian wines as well as a few from other countries. We selected a BC merlot. Most of the wines were somewhat pricier, but I guess that is to be expected at a higher end restaurant. For appetizer, I had the ravioli, which was of a perfect size and the flavours were very good. I had the steak and crab cake for my main dish which was served with potatoes and vegetables. I liked how it was served with a piece of crab on top. The steak was of a good size and tasted good, but was slightly overdone. The best part of the main was the crab cake. It was very flavourful, but also very rich and filling. Finally, for dessert, I had the tiramisu. It was excellent. My boyfriend ordered the semi-freddo which was good as well. I preferred my dessert but that was just personal preference.

The service was solid throughout the night. Our wine was always topped up and our water refilled. Our server was always very courteous and when it came time to paying the bill, he made sure to explain the Dine Out Vancouver Visa contest for us.

The restaurant is very nice. It's not overly large or small, but there are large windows which make it feel more spacious. It feels comfortable inside. It's on the pricey side, but I would return for a special occasion.

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Not bad but over priced in my opinion
By westendguy of Unknown (6 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, February 22, 2009 - 1:26pm [Dine in]

I enjoyed an evening here last night. We had a nice little private room in the back. It's an interesting place. Don was singing opera at random. That was probably the best part. The food was good, but the bill came to about $130 with two pasta entres, two appies and a few drinks. For pasta and salad I felt that was a bit too much $$. The service was good and they took extra care to remember our names and interact with us.

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Don't dine here for dineout
By chica419 of New Westminster (6 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, January 26, 2008 - 4:45pm [Dine in]

me and my group of friends went here for dineout vancouver 2008. Overall, I think their menu should be worth 25 instead of 35. The entree was very ordinary, nothing special. The appetizer was ..meh. but their tiramisu was very good...actually it was probably the best tiramisu I've ever tasted (I like it to be super bitter with strong wine/kaluha taste). The service was not great, I guess it's because there are too many people. I probably wouldn't come here again even for regular dining.

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