Restaurant Reviews
Located in the Pearl District, Fratelli offers an honest, simple Italian menu. The restaurant is a long narrow space with a high open ceiling. Very earthy, unpretentious atmosphere, yet also hip and happening. We were seated at the corner table opposite the entrance, which was perfect because we were away from the noise. We started with the antipasti plate, which included small samplings of salads and meats. The salads included one with eggplant and sundried tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts (a straight stalk, not curly), roasted green and red peppers, marinated fontina cheese, and marinated fennel. The meats included marinated chicken with chevre and a beef and spinach salad. My entree was the ravioli special of the night. I can't remember exactly what was inside the ravioli besides cheese, but it was sauteed in a brown butter sauce with pancetta and fava beans. It was very delightful. Bart had the seared halibut with a rhubarb puree and roasted asparagus. The sweetness of the rhubarb nicely complimented the fish. We ended with a strawberry crostata, which was fresh and light. The entire meal was under $45, but we didn't have any drinks because we were going to a cocktail party immediately afterwards. I would highly recommend this restaurant. The service was excellent, the portions were just right, the prices are about average, and the atmosphere was right on.
3 out of 4 stars

Tacqueria Nueve
This is an always crowded place located on the east side. Bart and I had tried this place for the first time about a year ago and only thought it was okay, not really that good. On the advice of friends, we decided to give it a second chance. We didn't order any appetizers this time. I had the wild boar enchiladas and Bart had lamb shanks in a posole sauce. We enjoyed our meal a lot more this time around, however, my problem isn't with the food, it's with the atmosphere of the place. For me, eating out and having a dining experience is all about atmosphere and service. The service was fine, but the atmosphere lacks something. I think it may be the generic, nondescript Mexican restaurant decor. I am probably being a little picky, considering there was a huge group of people waiting outside to be seated. I would recommend the appetizers, but the rest of the menu seems pretty standard to me, though you can get exotic meats in some of the dishes (wild boar, shark).
still 2 out of 4 stars