Italian Food Coma: Ristorante Villa-Francesca

I. Am. Full.  

I didn't think it could happen (I'm not really known for being one to just kick food around on my plate) but tonight I found myself being faced with giant plates of deliciousness after deliciousness and without fail, every single time I found myself thinking, "oh, I'll just eat half".  And then two thirds would suddenly disappear from my plate and then I found myself thinking, "heck, there's only a forth left, I wouldn't want to be rude...", I'd rationalize as the last bit vanished from my plate.  

Tonight I was invited to a lovely little event at Ristorante Villa-Francesca on Richmond Street in the my most favorite neighborhoods of them all, the North End.  I had never been to Ristorante Villa-Francesca before so I was pretty psyched to try some place new.  Upon entering, I found myself in a giant stone-walled bar situated next to a large dining room with open windows.  

Meeting with some other fellow food bloggers, we were whisked away to a private downstairs room with low exposed ceilings, stone walls and wine cellars.  We were greeted immediately by Prosecco and my friend the oyster

After some catching up, we were seated at a giant table and presented with our menu for the evening.

 I had NO idea we were in for so much food!  We started out with family-style antipasti (my favorite) which was a nice selection of meats including tissue paper thin prosciutto with a sweet and subtle saltiness to it and salami rounds that artfully shaped into cones.  On the opposite side of the large oval serving dish was the classic tomato, basil mozzarella combination.  The mozzarella cheese was so fresh it almost melted in my mouth, right on contact.  Rounding out the dish were little logs of what I assumed to be a sharp romano or asiago cheese and olives that glided around in the slick olive oil like happy little skaters on an ice rink.  The entire plate was a work of art.

Next up was a serving of bread and olive oil.  I put flecks of pepper in my olive oil to give it an added boost of flavor.  The bread wasn't amazing, but I love bread and olive oil and of course, I ate it.  And happily, might I add.

Next up was a serving of a fettuccine bathed in a pink tomato, onion and cream sauce with four shrimp balanced on top.  The sauce was fantastic.  Rich tomato flavor and just the right amount of cream to sweeten it up a touch, without making it too creamy.  The pasta was cooked to an absolute perfect al dente state.

At this point, I started to slow down a bit, just in time to be presented with Pollo Monte, which was a pounded chicken breast topped with delicate slices of eggplant, roasted red peppers, artichokes, and melted mozzarella cheese.  This was a hearty dish and not for the calorie conscious but man, was it good.  It was served with buttery potatoes that had the slightest hint of rosemary.  Next to the potatoes sat a little haystack of bright green spinach. 

And if all of that wasn't enough, the meal ended on a sweet note with a homemade cannoli that was stuffed table-side with homemade sweet ricotta filling and topped with our choice chocolate chips, walnuts and/or powdered sugar.  The cannoli was so delicious, with soft velvety ricotta cheese made sweet by vanilla and powdered sugar.  It was the perfect ending to a wonderful evening.

The best part of the evening was hanging out with my fun food blogger friends.  I just love the food blogger community and couldn't think of a better way to spend a muggy, rainy Monday evening.
Megan (We've been talking via blogs and Twitter for months and this was our first meeting!)
Lara, Me and Meghan

Talk about a great night!  Thanks Ristorante Villa-Francesca for hosting such a fun evening.  I'll be back for sure.

 And now, I just need some comfy sweatpants and a horizontal position....MAJOR food coma!  Big gym trip planned for tomorrow and LOTS of vegetables for lunch and dinner (and maybe even breakfast!).  It's all about the balance, right?

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Anonymous said...

What a fun evening! I need an invite like that!! Your pictures are so real-life - beautiful!! I also had never been there before, but you better believe my next trip to the North End will bring me there. Fabulous!

Boston Food Diary said...

This looks AMAZING SBK! Love the photos- are you loving the new camera? Sad I had to miss out- but soo glad that you had such a wonderful evening!

Daisy said...

An anonymous commenter already planning a trip here?! That's awesome. Sooo good to meet you SBK. That was one seriously intense food coma!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

Last night was so much fun! I especially like the last photo but I think its because the photographer is pretty awesome :-) No seriously, the photos look great - hooray for the new camera! Western MA foodie field trip soon?

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

So much fun last night, ABFD, sorry you couldn't make it! Was great so great to meet you Daisy (I'm sorry, I'm going to keep calling you that! :) And great seeing you again Fun and Fearless!

Anonymous, thanks for the comment! Definitely give these guys a try. And remember to get the cannoli! Yumm

Megan said...

So happy I got to meet you! Had so much fun eating delicious Italian food and catching up in person! Hope we do it again soon!

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