Franco's Ristorante 

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Dining at is an absolute must for anyone who appreciates truly creative Italian food. According to its owners, this white-tablecloth restaurant synthesizes cucina povera, traditional Italian peasant fare, with cucina alto-borghese, the cuisine of Italy's merchant class. Franco's kitchen takes bold and innovative liberties with traditional preparations to create a consistently excellent seasonal menu featuring great homemade pasta dishes (available half-size as appetizers or full-size as entrees), seafood and veal dishes. Presentations are elaborately elegant and arrive on oversized plates. For dessert, the budino, a seemingly unassuming custard dish, is extraordinary and deserves special mention.

Franco's offers two menus: one in the casual cafe in front and another in the more formal (and pricey) dining room in back. With its amazing food and excellent service you're guaranteed to forget you're eating in a West End strip mall.

9031 W. Broad St. 270-9124

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