News Source: www.thedailystar.com
New restaurant adds Italian flavor to Delhi's Main Street
News Source/Courtesy: www.thedailystar.com

Francesca and Emanuele Donancricchia are bringing their love of pizza full circle.

The couple launched Francesca’s Pizzeria & Restaurant at 3 Main St. in Delhi in late January.

Francesca Donancricchia said pizzeria ownership has long been a dream.

“I’m an alum from the (SUNY Delhi) and I went there from 2009 to 2014,” she said. “I came back to the area in 2019, and that’s when I came with my husband. We bought the restaurant in 2021, but the pizzeria has been far-lived beyond me. What I mean by that is, my parents have had a pizzeria — my dad came over 40 years ago and bought a pizzeria after immigrating from Italy — so they inspired us to continue the pizzeria life. I was born and raised inside of it and my husband has been immersed into the culture for a couple years now, so it just felt like the right thing to do. The former (restaurant) had closed and it was the perfect opportunity: the location, the community and that I had already had a taste of the community since I’d already been here.”

Though Francesca’s namesake is proving popular, Donancricchia said, the eatery offers more than pizza.

“Pizza is obviously what we’re known for,” she said. “My husband brought Greek pizza to the area, with feta, olives, onion and tomato, and our white pizza is to die for. Our chicken-bacon ranch is more common, but those are a couple that are our top-sellers.

“But the pasta dishes I would say are where we’re starting our restaurant adventure, and as we get settled, we’d like to add other items,” Donancricchia continued. “Our lasagna flies off the shelf; I can’t keep enough of it. And our tiramusi, I can’t keep enough inventory. There’s so much demand. We’re three weeks in, so I’m learning what is wanted more than other things … and I’m also listening to what our Facebook viewers say. So, there’s a couple hot-topic things that we have, and I don’t know if it’s because we’re new and people are trying us, or because this stuff isn’t around in the area.”

Customers, Donancricchia said, represent a mix.

“The local community I think supports us the most,” she said. “The college is there, but the locals — whether it be digitally or in person — they’re the ones that take the minutes to ask us where we’re from and what brought us here and, in return, we ask them. So, the locals is where we share our stories, and the college kids are just so hungry.

“We’ve had people from Roxbury, Stamford, Meridale and I had one family come from Long Island,” Donancricchia continued. “Whether it be families coming to visit students or it’s second homeowners, downstate is coming to see us. And in the three weeks that we’ve been open, I have seen … families with small children, couples in their 60s to 90s and I’ve seen college students. We hired several (students from) Delaware Academy, so I think the youth employment also brought a lot of eyes and neutral ground for all people to arrive.”

Francesca’s, Donancricchia said, employs 16 people.

Donancricchia said her commitment to the fare, her family and the community have her hopeful.

“This is the first actual (restaurant) ownership for us both, with a lot of guidance from my uncle and my parents,” she said. “The day-to-day change is what keeps it lively, and the fact that we have passion. You go in and you taste in the recipes and you see in the menu the passion, you see the drive. We have a new little girl — she’s five months old — and she’s our drive. Nine times out of 10, she’s there, just like I was, living and breathing it, so it’s a family establishment and I hope everybody does feel welcome. I’ve tried to make sure that we have highchairs and enough seating for all types of people and I would say we’re handicap accessible. I try to make sure that, being as I was in the industry my entire life and that I graduated from school for business, it encompasses all pieces.”

For more information or to view a menu, find “Francesca’s Pizzeria & Restaurant” on Facebook. Also, call 607-746-7825.

Francesca’s is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 10 to 10 Friday and Saturday; noon to 9, Sunday; and closed Tuesday.

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News Source: www.thedailystar.com

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