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Midtown South / Chelsea >
Francisco's Centro Vasco
Posted by foodjunkie on 06/10/2011
Excellent food, affordable but very noisy & poor service
Posted by anonymous on 04/28/2011
We were at FCV to celebrate two birthdays. After being seated, the waiter immediately took our drink orders-the sangria was quite good, but had little liquor in it. He then took our order for appetizers and brought out the appetizers while our menus were still spread across the table. We moved the menus onto our laps and managed to share the appetizers we ordered-chorizos, garlic shrimp, and clams oreganata. Good, but nothing great. He took our main dish orders while we were eating. He advised us that the lobster meat with no shell in sauces was really frozen lobster meat and not as good as the fresh lobsters. Four of us ordered whole steamed lobsters, one ordered the seafood paella, and two ordered the Zarzuela De Mariscos Catalana which is described as "a succulent casserole of clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops & lobster cooked in a hearty sauce." When salad came, some of us had no plates, since they had been cleared away with the appetizers. After we finally got plates and ate salad, we waited and waited and waited. Diners who entered after us were eating. We had nothing-and a missing waiter. Finally, dinner arrived. The Paella was cold, one of the Zarzuelas had only pieces of the body of the lobster-all cartilage, no meat. The scallops and mussels in it were delicious, but NO LOBSTER MEAT. We complained about the cold Paella and the lack of lobster meat. The answer was, "that's what's always in it." About 20 minutes later, a couple of pieces of lobster meat were brought out. No corrections to the cold paella. We had to ask for plates and bibs. At first, we were using the plates from the top of the two pots of Zarzuelas. No one emptied full plates of shells. For the table, we were brought a plate of string beans (very good), a plate of rice with enough for two-three people, and 3 baked potatoes (for 7 people.)We reminded the waiter that we had asked for Spanish fries and they arrived about half way through the meal. When the table was cleared, dessert menus were tossed on the table. We ordered two desserts to share and several coffees/capuccinos. When we started singing Happy Birthday at the table, no waiters appeared to join in, although they had just done so at another table. To say the least, it was an evening that was supposed to be special. The people made it so, the waiter did not. We had been to the restaurant several years ago and were looking forward to returning. Now our advice to people is choose another restaurant.
Posted by Mike T on 02/17/2011
It doesn't look like much from outside. The atmosphere inside is pleasant if somewhat old-style. The service is efficient but casual. Overall the emphasis seems to be that this is a place where you come to eat: where the focus is on the food. And if you like that kind of restaurant, you've made the right choice. We ordered shrimp cocktail as an appetizer, which was very good. Then they brought a table salad, which had a delicious light dressing. The bread and butter were quite good too. But the main reason for coming to this restaurant is, of course, the lobster. I ordered a three-pounder (which was about $50) and my companion had the lobster tail. Both were superb. The side dishes we had -- garlic green beans, rice pilaf, and crisp fried potatoes -- were all delicious. We definitely will go back when in the mood for GREAT food.
Posted by LisaNYC on 01/07/2011
My family tried out this place because I live across the street... it's delicious. The paella was a generous portion and had lots of flavor. We enjoyed it so much, we're going back tonight. Highly recommended - affordable for NYC and delicious.
Posted by efn on 11/23/2010
...my only criticism is in charging $6 for a bottle of O'Douls. Nonetheless, the food was fantastic and filled your plate and tummy.
Posted by shooter on 07/31/2010
I have been eating at FCV for over 20 years and last month i took a few of customers for their first time . We had 3 1/2 pounders which were as good as ever and 2 of the customers have already gone back with friends and family. i travel around the country and eat at the finest restaurants but i will always consider FCV one of the best.
Posted by LydiaChefNNJ on 05/17/2010
I have read the other reviews and fell compelled to write. Francisco's has been a family staple for 20years and never once were we disappointed, and this comes from a family of chefs when I say this. We always, but always, order the following: lobster bisque soup (an ohmygod moment, just lovely), the 2.5 lb (per person) whole lobster, broiled with their lovely breadcrumbs atop, white sangria (large, but of course), and top the experience off with Francisco's Cappuccino and flan. Service is excellent, attentive and has never let us down. We are going there this Thursday to celebrate our son's college graduation. We know the majority of places in NYC, have eaten at dozens and dozens of lovely establishments and had great experiences at most of them. But, with the crowd we are bringing, Centro Vasco is the place we will celebrate this most important occasion. If anyone has had a bad experience, it could have easily been handled by the staff to set things aright. My only problem was ten years ago when the Spanish potato chips weren't as hot as I like them. Know what I did? Told the waiter and he brought me another plate of those little wonders. Go. Go hungry. Go with two people. Go with a crowd...but...Just Go!