There are various restaurant hubs in Ottawa: Byward Market, Elgin St., Richmond Rd. (Westboro), Preston St. (Little Italy), Somerset St. (China Town), Bank St. (The Glebe), just to name a few. Some of these locales come with a deep history and have a strong reputation which they seek to maintain by offering unique and great tasting restaurants. Recently I decided to visit the Westboro area. This busy little area offers a wide variety of restaurants, pubs, cafes and tea houses which is sure to satisfy and intrigue the appetite of its suburban surroundings.
Fratelli’s was the restaurant of choice for this particular outing. This contemporary Italian fine dining restaurant was established in 1996 in the Glebe and has since added three other locations across the city. Fratelli is Italian for ‘brothers’, which aptly reflects the owners Robert and Richard Valente, and since opening their doors, have worked tirelessly to keep the atmosphere of their restaurants like a neighborhood trattoria.
Walking into this bustling, lively but yet cozy restaurant I instantly felt as if I was among family and friends. The rustic decor with hints of modern elements, along with the numerous black and white photography on the walls exhibited the perfect combination of the present and yesteryear. The manager quickly came to greet me as I settled in.
Feeling at home, I decided to sample at least one item from each section of the menu which had all the Italian classics – anti-pasta, soups, pastas, chicken, veal, seafood entrees, and of course, pizza. I thoroughly enjoyed all of my orders which were rich in taste and flavor and truly Italian. However there were some particular culinary delights that really left their mark, such as the light and tantalizing arugula salad which came with grape tomato, toasted pecans, tossed with balsamic reduction and topped with shaved parmigiano.
With gentle encouragement from the manager, I also tried carpaccio for the first time. This plate of raw angus beef tenderloin, capers, dijon mayo, shaved parmigiano was tender and surprisingly exquisite. FInally, I ordered their signature dessert. The sweetly irresistible warm nutella cake came with creamy bacio gelato, frozen sugar dusted cranberries, topped with English cream. Absolutely delightful!
In sum, despite the stigma of chain restaurants, Fratelli’s unique style maintains their reputation of “customers first” and savory food… making any guest feel like an Italian for at least a couple of hours.
For more information:
309 Richmond Rd.