Mia Francesca - What I Liked
- Freshly prepared antipasti, pizzas, pasta and a few meat/seafood dishes.
- Portions suitable for sharing.
- Kitchen flexible about special requests.
- Nice options for kids and vegetarians.
- Menu changes periodically, so your favorite might not be offered on a return visit.
- What's with the handwritten menus?
- Dinner menu only on weekends.
- Don't be in a rush.
Mia Francesca - The Mood
Mia Francesca is a well-known and well-loved chain that started in the Chicago area. This is their first foray into Arizona. The location, at DC Ranch in North Scottsdale, is perfect for this type of cuisine.
The dining room has nice, high ceilings creating a nice, open feeling. A separate closed off area for a group of about 8 - 14 is available, and there is also an upstairs section that might be appropriate for a larger group. A wedding rehearsal dinner or corporate function immediately comes to mind. There is a bar in the main dining area. Generally, the decor is dark wood and modern. I didn't get a warm or "Italian" feeling from the design, but it wasn't a problem either.
Resort casual attire is appropriate here, but shorts and casual wear are also permitted. Families are welcome, and there is a children's menu with pasta, pizza and chicken choices.
Mia Francesca - The Damages
It was lunchtime on a Sunday, and two of us shared an appetizer, a pizza and a dinner-sized entree. The total -- excluding beverages, tax and tip -- came to $40, or $20 per person. Desserts are about $7 each.
What I thought of Mia Francesca
Let me get that half-a-star ding out of the way. Keep in mind that we experienced this restaurant midday on a Sunday, not during a busy evening. Mia Francesca hasn't been open for lunch very long, and it was explained to us that although there is a lunch menu Monday through Friday, they are now offering only the dinner menu at lunchtime on the weekends. That was a surprise, and usually don't eat quite as much at lunchtime as I do in the evening, and on this particular evening we had reservations for dinner as well. I took a look at the M-F lunch menu, and while there are more sandwiches and salads on that menu, many of the dinner items are available for weekday lunches, too. They are just a few dollars cheaper, and, I assume, in smaller quantities. The only other source of bewilderment was the photocopied menu, a mishmash of printed and handwritten items. I understand that the menu changes periodically, but maybe word processing is the answer here.
Okay, now to the crux of the matter: the food. Every item we tried on this day was excellent. We shared everything, and it was plenty, with some left over. We started with the Prosciutto e Carciofi, aged prosciutto de Parma with marinated artichokes, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and EVOO ($10). Our server assisted us by splitting it into four rolls of tasty goodness. It was some of the best prosciutto I've had in quite a while. We split a Pizza Schiacciata all Toscana, with garlic, oregano, arugula, lemon olive oil, shaved parmesan, truffle oil mozzarella and fontina cheese ($11). I love white pizza, and this was a treat with a crispy not-thick-but-not-paper-thin crust. Perfect. Finally, we split an entree, the Linguine all'Arlecchino, linguini with sauteed shrimp, sea scallops, manila clams, garlic, olive oil and lots of flavorful cherry tomatoes ($19). It was huge. The pasta was cooked perfectly.
We tried several desserts bu the Tiramisu ($7) won our hearts -- and we are not normally Tiramisu lovers. I think the blanket of chocolate sauce on the bottom did it!
We could have easily shared an appetizer and pizza, or a salad and a pasta for a very satisfying lunch. On out next visit, if we are able to avoid the Tiramisu temptation, we'll give those Profiteroles a try!
Aside from pizza and pasta, there are a few chicken and seafood entrees. There was one veal dish on the menu at our visit. Generally speaking, the menu isn't extensive, and while you can see a sample of a typical menu online, you won't see the Arizona menu at the time of this writing (April 2012). We were advised by our server that the kitchen is pretty flexible relative to the menu. If you loved something you ate here last month, but it isn't on the menu today, just ask and they will try to accommodate.
How to Find Mia Francesca
Mia Francesca Address:
20825 N. Pima Road
Market Street at DC Ranch
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Mia Francesca Phone: