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“A very good restaurant but not perfect”

Osteria Francescana
Ranked #3 of 802 Restaurants in Modena
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$71 - US$212
Cuisines: Italian, Contemporary
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
Reviewed 4 April 2018

Food is very very good. Well constructed with interesting ingredients. We had the degustation with matching wines. Wine matching was a little strange for me and did not hit the spot. Service was prompt and efficient but hurried and descriptions by the staff were not clear

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Alan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 1 April 2018

I booked a table back in December as a Christmas gift for my husband. I understand its not easy to get one so I felt very honored that I had been so lucky.
Il be honest, i was a little worried that it might be pretentious, that I would maybe feel a little out of place because I didn't have the best wine knowledge and I wasn't posh. However I didn't need to worry at all, everyone in the restaurant was treated equally and my husband and I felt very comftable in the surroundings.
We chose the 'Everything' menu as we wanted to try certain dishes on it. We didn't go for the wine pairing as I don't really drink and I wanted to remember my experience! There is an extensive wine menu with wine for all sorts of budgets but we settled for a bottle of Bollinger which was perfect.
The food was incredible, the flavours extracted from the dishes are ones that will stay with us for a long time. The processes that go into each dish are amazing.
We were very lucky to have Massimo in that evening! He made his way around the tables talking to everyone, it was an honor to meet him and to hear his passion for his restaurant and his food. I have been to restaurants where once it becomes a big household name the head chefs move on to something else, here this was not the case. As we stayed in the hotel around the corner we saw him a the restaurant every day we were in Modena.
The staff were lovely and we have a good laugh with them during the evening. They are there to help you and they tell you a story about each dish.
All in all yes it is expensive but you are paying for an experience and not just an average meal, to me it was worth every penny!

4  Thank Lindsey H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 25 March 2018

I love food. I travel around the world to explore culinary traditions, and my wife and I visited Modena (and travelled through Bologna and Parma as well) after we finally secured a reservation to Osteria Francescana last December. I was so disappointed with the experience that it took me some time to think about this review.

1. We were welcomed in the restaurant by a fleet of servers. Yet, when we were taken to our table and asked whether or not we wanted an aperitivo, I replied "What is your favorite one to recommend?" and received a snappy "they are on our menu" as the response. This is not the way to treat a guest at a Michelin starred restaurant. It left a bitter taste in my mouth.

2. As others have said, a number of the servers announce the dishes like they are at a spelling bee - there's this awkward staring through you recital of a list of ingredients and/or techniques that do not engage with you at all. My wife made a comment about the "apple dashi" in one dish as it was being announced and the server then laughed and said "he forgot where he was" in his little recital. I had to coach him back into it as if he was stuttering at a spelling bee.

In short, from points 1 and 2, the service left much to be desired. And this is really sad - it's a terrible first impression of the restaurant, and one that others have noted. We visited the kitchen after and Massimo was not there that evening. We spoke with one of the cooks who described how he began there as an intern but that now he was hired full time, and that to be hired there you truly have to be a "star". It's a shame that this sort of style over substance theme pervaded the meal.

3. On the food, and as an example - we took the Tutto tasting menus, and one of the dishes I was really looking forward to is the Duck a l'orange / five spice risotto, a sort of east meets west dish. However, in my plate, there were approximately 5 minuscule pieces of duck with a shake of five spice, and the orange flavor in the dish completely overwhelmed it. Some of the rice was under-cooked! It was like eating orange juice with under-cooked rice and a shake of five spice powder with a few tiny nuggets passing for duck. This dish was very poorly cooked - from the rice, to the portion of the duck, to the portion of five spice, to the overwhelming nature of the orange juice like flavor. I would be generous in giving this course 5/20 as a score. I was so shocked by this and other elements of the dinner that I didn't even know how to react.

In fact, the entire menu was very stingy on the protein side of things. The Parmesan 5 ways was very tasty, as was the 'hidden salad' - tortellini stuffed with pheasant are hidden beneath a salad of herbs. Yet my course had three tiny tortellini, a bit of sauce, and loads of herbs - the ratio was completely off in terms of proportion. And this was a recurring theme throughout the menu, especially where proteins featured.

The long and short of it is: I have been to many Michelin starred restaurants around the world and I left this one feeling like I had an 'okay' dinner. I wish Massimo had been there so I could have really spoken to him about the details of this dinner, but alas he was not. And perhaps that explains my utter confusion at both the service and quite a number of the dishes that were served as well.

There were some fine dishes (the lemon tart and Parmesan courses stand out) but many of the others were very dubious, either very much lacking in protein, or balance, or sauce.

I left here sad, and never plan to return again. Davvero un peccato.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
9  Thank TheAristotelian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 25 March 2018 via mobile

My husband took me to this restaurant for a surprise dinner when we were visiting Modena. This place is awesome! For me It is the best restaurant in Italy for a reason.

The food is amazing, as you would expect.

Everything has a story and the dishes was just amazing. No words to explain.

The level of service is outstanding and like none other.
The staff is super friendly and definitely made a difference in our experience.

Thank Mahika A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 19 March 2018 via mobile

This is if course another level from my ordinary eatery. As much an aesthetic experience as an experience of taste. That being said, it is not too far away; some dishes on the twelve course menu are phantastic version of things I recognize; other something altogether new; one or two,even, not something that agreed with my palate. Nevertheless, an experience for a lifetime.

Thank Sigurd18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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