I have been craving Italian food something fierce. This week took me to Francesca’s, a charming spot tucked away in the Edgewater neighborhood. The restaurant is deceptively large, with ample seating around the wooden bar, a generous number of tables and booths, and a private dining space in the back. We came in on a Tuesday night and although the restaurant wasn’t super busy, I was glad we had made a reservation for a group of seven people. The menu immediately made my mouth water; everything looked so delicious. I know that my eyes always tend to be bigger than my stomach (especially at an Italian restaurant), so I decided to start small. I ordered the Insalata di Rucola: arugula and chopped tomatoes topped with lemon juice, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. This was fantastic. The flavors were bright and fresh and I loved the simplicity of the dish. I will say, the portion was a bit small for the price, but the taste more than made up for it. On Tuesday evenings, they do a lasagna special; $13 for your choice of a dinner or Caesar salad or soup and the lasagna. This week they featured a three cheese lasagna: ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese with a tomato vodka cream sauce. Most of my friends ordered the dinner salad, which came with a positively delightful lemon basil vinaigrette. The lasagna was delicious. The sauce completely made the dish for me, I would order it again in a heartbeat. One of my friends ordered the rigatoni dish: rigatoni pasta topped with peas, cremini mushrooms, and prosciutto in a parmesan cream sauce. After tasting this, I immediately had food envy. The combination of the salty prosciutto with the rich mushrooms, fresh peas, and savory cream sauce was incredible. I also saw that Francesca’s is now serving brunch and I can’t wait to try some of their brunch items! In particular, the Arancini Benedict caught my eye: crispy risotto, prosciutto, poached egg, and hollandaise sauce served with house potatoes.
Francesca’s Bryn Mawr is open Mondays from 11:30 am to 9 pm, Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11:30 am to 9:30 pm, Fridays from 11:30 am to 10:30 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 10:30 pm, and Sundays from 10 am to 9 pm. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm. Francesca’s has three other locations in the city: Gold Coast, Little Italy, and Lakeview. Find more information here.
RACHEL HOOVLER & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO