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Posted in Chicago, Date Night, Bootler, Italian by Anthony

In search of a hearty meal, great customer service, fair prices, and a beautiful outdoor terrace? Look no further! The Mia Francesca, Lakeview location, offers all of this and more. Serving you authentic Italian cuisine with fresh ingredients, Mia Francesca is the perfect place for a family dinner, date night, or an evening spent with friends.

The Francesca’s Restaurants Group originally began when the owner Scott Harris opened the Lakeview location in 1992.  What was once just a small, welcoming restaurant on Clark Street has grown into a restaurant empire of 3 concepts across 33 locations. Despite the many Francesca’s Restaurants I have eaten at, the original location in Lakeview has to be my favorite - after all I’ve been eating there since I was two years old.

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Photo courtesy of Francesca’s Restaurants

Mia Francesca really fits in well with the Lakeview neighborhood. Located along a large stretch of Lake Michigan’s shoreline, Lakeview is one of the most easily accessible neighborhoods in the city. With two L stops nearby, there is no problem getting to Mia Francesca without a car!

Two of my favorite parts about Mia Francesca besides the food is the friendly atmosphere and the beautiful outdoor terrace. As soon as we walk in we’re always greeted immediately, and the staff is always accommodating. Generally, I prefer to sit in the back terrace area, because it’s quaint and a bit more laid back than the indoor seating area.

Photo courtesy of Francesca’s Restaurants

Both areas are decorated beautifully, and showcase painted walls that make you feel like you have been transported to Italy. If you can I would highly recommend asking for a table outside on a warm summer night.

Now, onto my favorite part, the food! Mia Francesca menu has so much to offer, but after going for years I tend to fall back into old habits and stick with my favorites. You should definitely start off with an appetizer to share.

The Bruschetta con Coppa, a garlic toast with tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella, topped with coppa ham, is a great option that won’t leave you to full for the entrees. Other great options I always go back to are the fried Calamari and creamy Mushroom Risotto. The Risotto is some of the best I’ve ever had, but it’s not always on the menu. So, if you don’t happen to see it on the menu, be sure to mention it to your server and they’ll be sure to accommodate you.

Photo: BriGeeski

That’s another great thing about Mia Francesca, if there’s ever a dish you loved but was taken off the menu, just can ask your server to make a request to the kitchen and they’ll almost always be able to accommodate you.

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Photo courtesy of Francesca’s Restaurants

I should note that they do give you fresh bread, and the bread itself is amazing. So if you aren’t too hungry, a combination of bread, olive oil, and parmesan cheese will definitely suffice. Just make sure to save room for the main course!

As for my main course, I chose the Ravioli con Funghi, which is wild mushroom filled ravioli with a tomato mushroom sauce and fresh mozzarella. I can confidently say, that Mia’s consistently has the best pasta sauce of any restaurant I’ve been to, and I was not disappointed this time around.

The ravioli was packed with savory flavors, and was so fresh. You could tell that this ravioli was made by hand, and not ripped out of a package. If you are looking for some good ravioli I would suggest you try this one.

By some miracle I found room in my stomach for some dessert. My sister and I shared the Torta Lava, which is a flourless semi-sweet chocolate cake with a chocolate center, mint chocolate gelato, and fresh berries. On top of all that it’s even gluten free. If you’re not a big fan of lava cake, their Tiramisu is to die for as well. To be honest, you really can’t go wrong with anything here!

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Photo courtesy of Francesca’s Restaurants

One more thing to note. Mia Francesca has a different special every day, such as BYOB and ½ off appetizers from 5-7 on Mondays.

All in all, the original Mia Francesca in Lakeview is a must. Not only do they have great food, but they treat you like family. What more could you ask for?


That’s all for this this review. If you’re ever craving Italian, but can’t make it to Lakeview, make sure to check out Mia Francesca delivery on Bootler.