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Francesco Review - Coral Gables

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Francesco Review - Coral Gables

T. Pigeon | Apr 28, 2006 08:24 PM

If you don't wamt to read further, let's just say you MUST go.

Just ate there for lunch today. It is a little peruvian place in CG and is not fancy, interior is nice and the tables are a bit close together but not too bad... Lunch prices range from $9-10 for apps and $12-15 for entrees, ceviches run from $12-$16, I did not make it to dessert this time. Portins are a little large than mid sized. 1 app and 1 main will more than satisfy most people.

I usually rate poor-excellent on food dishes and I tend to be stingy on excellent - it not only has to be beyond good but must be among the best or better of food I had like it before...

Appetizers
Cevice - Excellent! I had half fish half seafood (not exactly on the menu) 3 sauce sampler ($16). I have had quite a few ceviches in my life but do not love them (I think they are good though) in general and do not consider myself a ceviche expert.

That being said, this was better than any other ceviche I had by a good margin. I ate here with friends who love ceviche and they could not remember having a better ceviche either. I loved all three sauces so much that I had a hard time choosing a favorite again and would order the sampler again because of it.

One of my knowledgeable about ceviche friends liked it better without the sauce btw. I cannot imagine leaving the sauce off of it as they were all delicious. My point being, you purists out there will probably love it too :).

Scallops au Gratin- Very Good+ :), these were great. 4 decent sized scallops with melted cheese over them, how can you go wrong. I really really liked this dish.

Fried Calamari - Good/Very Good - I liked the sauce a lot and the calamari is high quality.

Crab in Potato - Good/Very Good - Crushed potato with crab meat inside. I liked this dish too but not as much as the scallops and the ceviche. This dish might be a victim of being in such good company.

Snapper with Corn and Red Onions - Very good. This dish was merely good until I tried a second bite combining the snapper, sauce, corn and onion together (then I had a 3rd and 4th, etc. :)). Very nice synergy when combined in one bite.

I heard the tuna carpaccio was very good from another diner, but did not get a chance to try it...

Main Courses:
Chicken in Aji Sauce - Good. This is clearly a seafood place. The chicken was good but I did not find the dish exceptional.

Tuna Steak with Vegetables - Very Good. I liked this dish a lot. The steak was great and so were the vegetables which had a very nice sauce on them.

Seafood Mixed with Rice in Potato - Very Good. Liked this dish a lot, but forgot its name. Sauce was great.

Calamari in Rice with Squid Ink - Excellent! This is one of the best dishes I ever had. It is so good that it may have affected my opinon about the other main courses on the downside. It was by far the best thing we had here. This was universally agreed to by all 4 of us.

Conclusion:
You cannot go wrong here ordering any of the dishes I described and as I said before, the two stars were so good they may have impacted my ratings on the other food in a negative way, meaning if you don't have the two standouts you may find that I underrated at least some of the other dishes mentioned.

When I go back I go for the sampler ceviche and the squid ink calamari. These dishes are lights out good and are among the most delicious plates I have had.

Getting to the value part of the equation puts this way over the top. Both these dishes together are 29 bucks (for lunch). You will leave full unless you are really, really hungry and can eat a lot.

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