Now the question was, will it be worth it? Francisco's on the River, in not technically "on the river" the Delaware River is across the street, but let's be real, that's not "on the river". Their parking lot is all gravel and can be tricky to walk in the dark if you like to wear 4" heels like I do, if not you'll be fine. On the plus side, it is BYOB, so we waltzed in with 4 bottles of wine, we figured one each would work! Oh, I'm so funny, actually we only drank 3 of them and rumor has it Mrs. Tabata was not feeling so good the next day.
But you really want to hear about the food right? In addition to a menu full of Italian specialities, they also had a nice specials menu. Mr. Tabata and I both had a mushroom soup from the special menu, it was soft and creamy, without being heavy. If you love mushrooms, you'll love the soup, much like Mr. Tabata and I did. My companion got the mussels in red sauce as an appetizer and as usual I conned him in to giving me a couple, delish. Salty, seafood should taste like the ocean and the sauce was awesome. Mrs. Tabata had a house salad.
So far the four of us were enjoying the evening, wine, good food and laughs. On to entrees, my companion went with something from the special menu that should come as no surprise to regular reader, Ahi Tuna. It was a nice piece of tuna and he enjoyed it. Mr. Tabata and I had ordered the exact same thing, a special featuring Turbot, a white, mild fish that was topped with lump crab meat and a white wine sauce. Several minutes after ordering the waiter came back to tell us that there was only one turbot left, being a gentleman, Mr. Tabata left me have the turbot and told the waiter he'd have the other fish special, the tilapia. The waiter, whom was great to us all night, offered to ask the chef to make the same dish as the turbot, just with the tilapia instead. Both came out and looked great. There was a good amount of crab meat and all was delicious. As for Mrs. T she had the Linguine al Frutti di Mare Fradiavolo, which as some of you know, linguine with seafood in a spicy tomato sauce. The seafood was fresh, the sauce tasty and the linguine must have been great because there was none left when she was done.
We were having so much fun and still had more wine to drink so we decided to stick around for dessert. Alright, the waiter had a tray of desserts and despite our intentions to say no, you cannot look at amazing desserts and turn them down. All restaurants should bring you the tray without asking, they'd sell so much more dessert that way. My companion and I shared a flourless chocolate cake. It was awesome. Rich, chocolaty and divine. The Tabatas shared the cheesecake, it had a fruit topping, could have been blueberry or maybe blackberry? Hopefully one of them is reading and can correct me. I do remember that they enjoyed it and it looked amazing.
It is always fun to spend time with Mr. and Mrs. Tabata and Francisco's on the River was a good setting for this evening. The staff was friendly (and put up with us being the last table to leave!) and the food was top notch. Just watch out for that gravel parking lot and make sure you have a reservation.