Sunday, February 06, 2011

Fratelli Ristorante and Bar - CLOSED

1230 NW Hoyt Street
Happy Hour: 4:30 - 6 and 9:00 - close

I love technology. My boyfriend and I were out at the movies on Saturday and needed to find a place for a late night dinner that wasn't homogenized (read chain restaurant) or serving fried foods (which is typical of so many places after the dinner hour ends). I pulled out my phone (and hand-me-down, mind you), pushed a few buttons, and found a list of all those restaurants serving late-night happy hour within a 5-mile radius. We ended up at Fratelli Ristorante and Bar.

I didn't take much more than a peek into the main dining area, but I'm convinced that the ambiance is fairly exceptional (especially for a romantic dinner). We sat at the far end and were quickly greeted by the bartender who took our order for two vodka gimlets, up. (It's not just my new favorite.)

The drinks were exactly as they should be. (I've recently learned that I HAVE to specify that I prefer my gimlet served up.) I loved every sip and would have ordered a second but thought a glass of red wine would better suit the food selections (both dinner and dessert).

My boyfriend and I selected a salad to split. I, of course, was so hungry after the movie that I forgot to take a picture before digging in. (My apologies.) It was topped with hazelnuts, prosciutto (which we had in a bowl on the side for obvious reasons), and fried root vegetables (which was a new idea for me). They added a nice crunch but were sliced so thinly that I had to work hard to keep them on the fork. The salad was lightly covered with a fig dressing, making it just a touch sweeter than what I'm used to. According to the meat-eater, prosciutto should NOT be candied. I've actually heard that it shouldn't be cooked AT ALL.

To eat, I ordered the margherita pizzette while my boyfriend had the lasagna Bolognese. The lasagna was covered with a white sauce and had the perfect amount of bubbling and browned cheese. It, however, also seemed to be well-packed with MEAT. My pizzette was much larger than expected (but had super thin crust) and had the perfect amount of mozzarella melted on top. It was a little too light on the sauce for my taste, though.

For dessert (which, sadly, is not included on the happy hour menu), I ordered the gelato. It was a chocolate hazelnut gelato which sounded PERFECT. It, however, sold out during the day. I learned from the bartender that the gelato is made fresh daily. (It sounds so good, even now. I am going to be craving gelato for days.) Instead, we had the semolina cake. (I wasn't going home without dessert!) The cake was served along with sliced apples that had been cooked with the BEST caramel sauce and came with a blanket of lightly whipped cream. The bartender recommended it after the initial disappointment...but I think this is one of those "it-was-meant-to-be" instances.

It's probably become obvious by now, but our server was the bartender. The place wasn't full but I could tell by the way he worked the room that no one (no matter how full the place got to be) would have to wait too long. He had great recommendations, made a pretty fantastic gimlet, and was as pleasant as could be.

I'm definitely going back for dinner. And next time, I'm going to have some gelato.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Exceeds
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Meets


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