It's rare that I enjoy my visit to a brand new restaurant as much as I enjoyed Mia Francesca, the Chicago-based Italian eatery now open under the Renaissance Hotel in North Hills.
The typical miscues were nowhere to be found and everything, from the decor to the food to the friendly service, which included not one, but two spill cleanups, was spectacular.
It's apparent upon entering that no expense was spared in building Mia Francesca. Beautiful stonework, brick archways, custom chandeliers and dark wooden accent pieces make for a warm and inviting atmosphere perfect for any occasion.
Whether its a first date, a group outing, or just a sandwich and a beer after the gym, Mia Francesca welcomes all walks of life. Think...slightly fancier than a pizzeria, yet not quite fine dining.
I began with a glass of Sangiovese (my favorite, second only to a good Malbec!) to compliment my first round of calamari, carpaccio and the delicious avocado bruschetta. Despite being nearly full after appetizers there was simply no slowing down. "This is it. Don't get scared now." To the entrees!
Both of my entrees (yes, both) were fantastic. I started with the pan roasted pork chops, served with peppers, red onions, wild mushrooms, garlic, white wine and olive oil, and rounded out my food coma with the grilled salmon, served with tomato, avocado, red onion, olive oil, basil and lemon over grill asparagus. (see images...mmmmm)
Overall I'd have to say I was pleasantly surprised with Mia Francesca. The service was phenomenal, the atmosphere was more than comforting and the food was fresh and prepared to perfection.
At the end of the day dining out should be about having fun. A time to relax, socialize among family and friends and enjoy a quality meal. Congratulations to the entire Mia Francesca staff, you delivered on all fronts and I can't wait to return.