Brunch @ Francesca's Trattoria

by Matt Woodruff

This past Sunday morning, I walked into Francesca's Trattoria, a restaurant in Gainesville's Millhopper Area for brunch, offered weekly from 10 AM until 2PM. It was exactly noon, but even so, about half of the restaurant was empty. Visually, Francesca's is what you would expect from an upscale italian eatery - dark paneled interior accented by muted wheat colored walls dotted with original works of art, wood and carpeted floors and an open kitchen. The menu is mildly unique, offering variations like Salmon Gravlax, Stuffed French Toast or Salmon Cakes Benedict, as well as Apricot Bellini's. There are also numerous italian lunch favorites on the menu.

The staff was professional, knowledgable and friendly. Our server, Angela, patiently answered many questions about the menu and made knowledgable recommendations while providing attentive but not over-bearing service.

Here, the mostly older, white-collar and non-ethnic customers enjoyed a relaxing Sunday brunch to the live musical offerings of Gosia and Ali, a talented guitar and flute duo with a knack for background music. As it might be a little loud up close, I suggest asking for a table nearer the back.

One of my dining companions ordered the stuffed french toast - a speciality here- and was particularly pleased with the blending of berries and marscapone cream that comprised the interior. Omelets were also the order of the day, and were found to be large, well filled and tasty. I ordered the Salmon Cakes Benedict and though quite tasty and nicely presented, were badly over-cooked, and though Angela offered to replace them, I declined. I suggest making a note to order them medium.

Breakfast items come with a choice of soup, polenta cakes or 'breakfast fries' which are ordinary french fries served with ketchup. Both the soup and polenta cakes were excellent. The Apricot Bellinis were refreshing and a nice compliment to the meal.

The check for this hour long brunch for 5, with coffees all around and two bellinis (not both consumed by me), was still under $100.

Over all Francesca's is a must do for brunch any Sunday in Gainesville.

Rating: A-

Francesca’s Trattoria
4410 NW 25 Place
Gainesville, Florida 32606

Mo-Fr 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
      (Last seating Mo & Tu 9 pm)
Sa 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Su 10:00 am - 9:00 pm

Phone: (352) 378.7152