There’s a new restaurant on the block and it’s got locals, foodies and trend seekers…
From crusty wood-fired pizzas and hearty plates of pasta to finely crafted specialities, it’s said that you’ll never go hangry at Franco’s Pizzeria in Parkview. The old-school pizzeria is known to be one of Joburg’s most splendido Italian spots, but does it really live up to its reputation? I decided to go find out for myself.
A few Friday nights ago, I grabbed one of my girlfriends and we headed to Franco’s to enjoy some carbs and catchups. When you walk into the cosy pizzeria, the first thing you notice is the red and green colour scheme, basic tableware and old Chianti straw bottles that make you wonder if the owners have changed anything since the restaurant opened in the 1980s. We were warmly welcomed by Franco Forleo himself and then decided that the décor (or lack thereof) matches the authentic, down-to-earth vibe.
READ MORE ON DINING OUT HERE.
To start, we shared the Prosciutto Crudo con Melone, which certainly wasn’t the most beautifully presented cured ham and melon starter I’d ever seen, but it was made with decent Parma ham. To drink, we ordered a bottle of house red from the small selection of wines by the glass. If you’re an adventurous drinker, you might prefer sipping your way through the interesting range of imported Italian wines and beers on offer.
READ MORE ON ENTERTAINMENT HERE.
For mains, I went for the Tagliatelle Alle Cozze – ribbon noodles with half-shell mussels and tomato – and my friend chose the Quattro Formaggi; a margarita pizza topped with feta, provolone and gorgonzola. When the dishes reached our table, we were again let down by the simple presentation. However, when we tucked in, that didn’t matter anymore. My pasta was cooked al dente and the mussels tasted like they’d been caught that same day – fresh as can be! The pizza had just the right amount of char and a perfectly chewy crust with a very generous amount of cheese. We ended our meal on a sweet note with cappuccinos and a portion of Italian kisses. My friend had the frozen cappuccino and said that it was especially decadent.
READ MORE ON FOOD & DRINK HERE.
While you won’t find any unusual ingredients or pizza toppings – let alone Insta-worthy dishes – at Franco’s, what you will find is comforting Italian fare made with love that’s prepared simply, extraordinarily tasty and priced extremely well. You can also expect top-notch service – the waitrons are exceptionally knowledgeable about the menu and make it their priority to ensure you enjoy your meal from start to finish. PS: there’s no corkage fee for the first bottle of wine you bring. Now that’s love!
Upper Level, Office 7, Parkview Centre, 54 Tyrone Avenue, Parkview
011 646 5449
Hello Joburg was first published in April 1980 as a monthly restaurant and entertainment magazine. Over the years we have developed a network of patriotic Joburgers that love nothing more than sharing their experiences in this beautiful city!