Pizza, pasta, tiramisu – all staples of a cuisine we know and love: cucina Italiana. But considering Aotearoa lies a cool 18,527 kilometres away from Italy, it can be hard to know if we really do know what authentic Italian food is. Enter Francesca’s Kitchen with a third generation Head Chef from Italy. Serving a big ol’ slice of authentic, rustic Italian cuisine and hospitality in the heart of the garden city.
Speaking of big ol’ slices – perhaps one of the most exciting features of this beautiful venue positioned next to Christchurch’s beautiful Isaac Theatre Royal is the woodfired pizza oven which sits at centre stage and pumps out chewy, crusty, perfectly charred pizzas for diners to enjoy.
Alongside these glorious disks of dough, Francesca’s menu offers a full Italian feast starting with antipasti, primi and insalata (first and salad), pasta and mains and ending on a sweet note with their dolci selection. Each of these menu sections is brimming with memorable dishes such as polenta fries with truffle aioli, housemade potato gnocchi with braised beef cheek and tiramisu with housemade mascarpone and fresh seafood served with housemade squid ink pasta – just to name a few.
On the drinks front, Francesca’s Italian Kitchen strikes the perfect balance of Italian and local wine and beer, an extensive range of spirits and cocktails and Allpress coffee for those perfect post-meal espressos – in true Italian fashion.
Whether you’re after a perfect woodfired pizza and prosecco before a visit to the theatre, a light lunch or a feast with friends, Francesca’s Italian Kitchen will not disappoint. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, this authentic spot is bound to have you saying “si,si!” to another visit. Just make sure you book ahead.