What’s New

Orlando Magazine’s 2020 Dining Hall of Fame

Francesco’s staff from left Von Reich, Eno Catali, Ciara Robles, Chef Francesco Aiello, Nino Carrera, Lynyrd Pipes, Kennedi Davis, Kyra Navarez, Hector Aiarcon, Jr, photo by Roberto Gonzalez

We are so excited to have been honored in Orlando Magazine’s 2020 Dining Hall of Fame!

The pandemic has changed much on our dining scene—but not the level of excellence each of our five honorees brings to the table.

From the outside, Francesco’s, flanked by a Jimmy John’s sandwich place and a Walgreens drugstore, looks like any Maitland strip mall restaurant. Inside, it is (pizza joke aside) a slice of Palermo, the ocean-facing capital of Sicily, where chef/owner Francesco Aiello was raised to love seafood and hospitality.

“It’s a passion I got when I was a little boy,” he says of cooking. “In my house there was always a beautiful smell. It stayed with me.”

Aiello opened his eponymous restaurant in 2011, after cooking at The Sicilian in Casselberry and Terramia in Lake Mary. He is a cordial force wherever he is in the restaurant—not always cooking, but always guiding the kitchen, while also asking diners “How is everything tonight?”

“If you don’t love this business, you can’t go anywhere,” he says. “You work many, many hours. It’s not a 40-hour job.” It’s impressive to watch the calmly efficient crew. Nino Carrera, a veteran of six years, bringing plates to appreciative diners; Giorgio Solano, the expert pizzaiolo getting perfectly charred pizza from the 700-degree wood-fired brick oven; Michelé Pennington, the adept sous chef; servers and hosts like Eno, Ciara, Kennedi and Kyra around the restaurant; each of them and more have practiced the dance performed every night through this space. “I spend more time with them than my own family,” Aiello says. And the past few months have been full of Chef Francesco cooking dinners and family meals for pickup or delivery to what, to him, seems like every household in the area.

The restaurant is famous for its spaghetti alla carbonara, fresh pasta made simply with pancetta, egg and black pepper. Marinara, Bolognese and Alfredo sauces are done in-house, and Aiello’s pastry chef father, Paolo, has created desserts like cassata al forno, a fresh ricotta cake specialty from Palermo. And Francesco has his favorites.

“Everything is good on the menu, but I’m born in Sicily; I love seafood,” he says. “Order the seafood.””

Welcome Back!

Greetings!

We are so happy and excited to welcome you back in-house!

A few things:

Our primary intent is to ensure a safe and comfortable dining experience for our guests and staff. To that end, we have special measures in place at this time, including:

-Cleaning and sanitization protocols

-Taking temperatures at the door

-Mask upon entry and exit

-Time limitations (party of 2-4 = 60 min, 4-7 = 90 min, 8-10 = 120 min)

-Reservations required 

We will be limiting seating to 25% capacity, your choice of patio or inside the restaurant. 

We appreciate your patience, support and understanding as we work to navigate this situation as safely as possible for everyone. 

Note: We are also still offering curbside pick-up and local delivery.

We Are Excited to Announce That We Are Re-Opening Monday, May 4th!

We are so excited to welcome you back in-house to enjoy all of your favorites at Francesco’s Ristorante beginning Monday, May 4th! Rest assured we have measures in place to keep our staff and clients safe, including heightened cleaning and sanitization protocols – we are doing everything humanly possible to ensure our restaurant stays virus-free!

Join us on the patio or in the restaurant, we will be limited seating to 25% capacity. We ask that our guests make a reservation, and please understand that we will be limiting each party to 65 minutes so we can accommodate as many guests as possible. We deeply appreciate your patience and understanding, and most of all your support and patronage during this time!

We are also still offering curbside pick-up and local delivery. We look forward to seeing you soon!

MOTHER’S DAY

We will be open from 12:00-9:00pm on Mother’s Day! Limited seating available, by reservation only! Call (407) 960-5533 to reserve your spot and celebrate the specials moms in your life!

Curbside Pickup & Delivery Services to Better Serve You During this Time

Enjoy our New Curbside Pickup & Delivery Services

We appreciate all you are doing to help support local business during this time! Here at Francesco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria, we are taking every precaution to ensure your safety and satisfaction.

This includes:

*Increased virus prevention, cleaning & sanitization protocols
*Monitoring & implementing recommendations from the CDC and health departments

We are also excited to announce the addition of a new services to better serve you during this time:

Curbside Pick-Up & Local Delivery

Choose from our catering menu or try our special new Family Style curbside menu and enjoy 10% off your order! Call us at (407) 960-5533 to place your order!

Francesco’s Catering Menu Francesco’s 

Family Curbside

Francesco’s Family style Curbside Menu

Special note: As we work to offset the impact to our servers and other employees, many of whom have families, we are including an 18% gratuity on pick-up and catering orders, while also offering you a savings of 10% off your order. Any additional tips for our servers would be deeply appreciated as well!

Connect with us on social media for updates as the situation unfolds.

We sincerely thank you for your loyalty and patronage, especially during this time, and look forward to serving you soon!

A Message Regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We understand there’s quite a bit of concern surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We want to assure you that we are taking every precaution to ensure the safety and satisfaction of our guests and staff. This includes additional cleaning and sanitizing protocols, and increased virus prevention and sanitation efforts in the dining rooms, kitchens, and restrooms to further safeguard the restaurant. Additionally, we are implementing “Social Distancing.” We are also monitoring the situation and recommendations coming from the CDC plus local and state health departments so we can do everything in our power to mitigate the spread of the virus.

We appreciate all you are doing to help support local business during this time! For those who want to dine in with us, we are open and would be delighted to serve you!

We are also excited to announce the addition of a new service to better serve you during this time:

Curbside Pick-Up!

Choose from our catering menu or try our special new Family Style curbside menu and enjoy 10% off your order! Call us at (407) 960-5533 to place your order!

Special note: As we work to offset the impact to our servers and other employees, many of whom have families, we are including an 18% gratuity on pick-up and catering orders, while also offering you a savings of 10% off your order. Any additional tips for our servers would be deeply appreciated as well!

Connect with us on social media for updates!

We sincerely thank you for your loyalty and patronage, especially during this time, and look forward to serving you soon!

2019 Dining Awards: Readers’ Spotlight presents Francesco’s for Best Italian

We are deeply grateful for this honor, and thank each and every one of our patrons for your many years of support. We look forward to seeing you soon at Francesco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria in beautiful Maitland, Florida.

Francesco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria

Francesco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria

ROBERTO GONZALEZ

Readers’ Choice: Best Italian

Francesco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria

The open kitchen at this Maitland restaurant invites diners to watch Executive Chef/Owner Francesco Aiello cook, ask him questions or even stop by for a hug. “I love that people enjoy being in my restaurant, eating my food. It’s an amazing feeling,” he says. This approachability has built trust over the seven years he’s been in business, emboldening his customers to try things like whole branzino, a European sea bass. Seeing the fish head and navigating around its bones can be intimidating to the novice.“People now, they trust me more, they know me,” he says. Aiello says he wants people to understand the value of fresh, scratch cooking, so he offers classes, teaching techniques he learned in his native Sicily. One popular class teaches fresh mozzarella-making. Aiello says he has a hand in every dish that goes out of the kitchen. When he’s on vacation, he doesn’t run any specials. “I make every single dish,” he says. “I want to make my customers happy, 100 percent.” South Orlando Avenue, Maitland; francescos-rist.com —M.S.

Source: http://www.orlandomagazine.com/Orlando-Magazine/May-2019/2019-Dining-Awards/

Welcome to our New Website!

The Francesco’s website has received a facelift! We hope you’ll find our new site useful and enjoyable to visit. If so, please tell your friends!

But don’t worry, the same delicious flavors and dishes you’ve come to love at Francesco’s are still here. Why not browse our menus while you’re here?