The best sauces, like the best imaginary friends, are rich and from the Mediterranean. Dine alone or with Esmeralda the railroad tycoon with this Groupon.
$45 for Three Groupons, Each Good for $30 Worth of Italian Cuisine ($90 Total Value)
The dinner menu includes such entrees as a stuffed pork chop with spinach, ricotta, and prosciutto topped with a sweet-garlic glaze ($26); new york strip steak with fire-grilled asparagus ($28); frutti di mare, which mingles lobster, gulf shrimp, mussels, and clams in a light tomato sauce ($22); and Colossal cheese lasagna ($18).
Francesca's Ristorante Italiano
Francesca's Ristorante Italiano's eggplant fra diablo won Taste of Buffalo's 2012 Pat Sardina Memorial award for Best Comfort Food, and the lemon strawberry sorbet won Taste of Buffalo's award for 2013 Independent Health Foundation's Healthy Options, but those aren't the only items on the eatery's menu that could have qualified. Other dishes with sumptuous, rich flavors include the eatery's rustic Italian pizzas, which chefs paint with a signature red-wine sauce or garlic-cream-cheese spread, as well as the osso buco with tender, slow-cooked beef shank and oyster mushrooms packed into ravioli. While navigating forks through tubes of housemade manicotti stuffed with ricotta cheese, patrons can enjoy the melodies of occasional live music or launch paper airplanes off the outdoor patio. Dark wood accentuates the fully stocked bar, replete with wine, beer, and cocktail makings.