Growl Review: Fratelli Pasta Grill

Category: Growl Review

Sylvia V.

Fratelli Pasta Grill

By Sylvia V.


Image courtesy of Lisa L.

The prices were fair for quality ingredients. The service and details could be improved for better value. GpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeFadeGpawRating-WholeFade
The restaurant was visually exciting, trendy, and bustling. GpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-Whole
Our server was pleasant, but under-trained and stretched too thin. Our host was very charming but could have been more effective. GpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeFadeGpawRating-WholeFade
Initially I was excited about the food possibilities on offer at this restaurant. Indeed the food was quality, but it did not quite come together for me. There were some great tastes, but my meal lacked pizzazz. GpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeFadeGpawRating-WholeFade
The restaurant and washrooms were spotless. GpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-Whole

The Growlers met up for an Italian dinner on April 24, 2013 at Fratelli Pasta Grill, located at 13340 Lanoue Street in Tecumseh.

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Entering Fratelli Pasta Grill was like stepping into a busy, modern, contemporary cafe in Italy. It felt authentic and established.

After the joyful reunion with friends I settled in and started to absorb the surroundings. The décor was sleek and sexy. On a Wednesday evening every table was full and there was a bustling atmosphere, one of appreciation for food and fellowship everywhere you looked.


Image courtesy of Lisa L.

We watched as epicurean works of art passed by our table en route to other parties and sought them out on our menus. There was building anticipation for what might arrive at our table.

As each of the Growlers arrived, our unimposing server brought us something to drink while we discussed the menu and caught up with each other. Throughout the rest of the evening, the service was sporadic though pleasant.


Image courtesy of Lisa L.


Image courtesy of Lisa L.

The selection on the menu was organized but overwhelming: 16 starters, 13 pasta sauces with a choice of 6 pasta shapes (for a total of 78 possible combinations not including additions), 11 meats, and 5 desserts – plus specials. There was also an extensive gluten-free menu. I found it difficult to choose.


Image courtesy of Lisa L.

I started with Beef Carpaccio, which was fresh but bland. I requested salt and was given a shaker. I followed with seafood pasta which was extremely oily, but a little more flavourful with the addition of freshly grated parmesan. It was missing the tomatoes promised on the menu. I began to doubt my memory, so I did not call attention to it. After all, I thought I had ordered tagliatelle noodles but the server had written down fusilli, so I was already confused.


Image courtesy of Lisa L.

I tasted some of the neighbouring dishes and questioned whether I had made the right choices. The homemade gnocchi was delicious, as was the four cheese rosé sauce.


Image courtesy of Lisa L.


Image courtesy of Lisa L.

The crusty bread that came to the table was marvelous, though late in arriving. We enjoyed a grand presentation of pouring high quality olive oil and balsamic for dipping the bread; if only several plates had been done up for our long table, we wouldn’t have needed to pass our one large plate precariously back and forth.


Image courtesy of Lisa L.

The meal ended on a high note with Amaretto Tartufo and possibly the best cappuccino I have ever tasted.


Image courtesy of Lisa L.

We were visited by our charming host who regaled us with tales of his adventures in Italian food service. Clearly he comes from a long line of successful Italian restaurateurs. It was exciting to learn that we were in the presence of generations of Italian cooking.

But something may have gotten lost in translation from the previous generation.

Overall my experience was OK, but overstimulating and lacking at the same time. If I return to this restaurant I will do my homework with the menus before I arrive so that I know ahead of time exactly what I will get and how much I’ll be spending.

My individual bill came to $62.00 before tip. For this price in this location I’d like a higher level of service and attention to detail – like putting tomatoes in the pasta. I would appreciate an informed, individual, unhurried consultation with the server on ordering in the absence of a streamlined menu where the chef makes more decisions about which pasta to serve with which sauce. Details such as a salt grinder instead of a simple shaker, individual dipping plates of oil and balsamic, napkin service, and lighting the candles on the table would have made my $62.00 seem better spent.


Image courtesy of Lisa L.

Sylvia V.‘s Overall Rating
I would recommend this restaurant to a friend as an exciting new place to try. I would recommend the four cheese pasta and steer them away from the seafood. I would warn them about the prices and direct them to the menus posted on the website for perusal before their visit. GpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-WholeGpawRating-HalfGpawRating-WholeFade


Comments from fellow Growlers
Kim S. said: “The Fratelli experience summed up in one word: sexy. There was something so sleek about the décor of the place and the food presentation. All of the mirrors were particularly eye-catching – the hexagonal mirror bar backdrop and the wall of antique (or antique-inspired?) mirrors. I dined on the house salad and the vegetariano pasta (with whole wheat linguine). Everything I ordered was fresh and delicious. And the cappuccino? I have never tasted its equal. As an added bonus, I found the owner/host to be quite personable and charming (you could definitely tell that he is passionate about food and that quality and freshness are important to him), and our waiter was absolutely adorable.”


Image courtesy of Lisa L.

Farah K. said: “I tried the four cheese pasta which was tasty and flavourful. I also enjoyed the espresso coffee. Our server was very attentive and helpful in explaining the menu options to those of us with special diets. The people were very friendly and accommodating which made it an enjoyable experience.”

Micky G. said: “One of the best gluten free menus I’ve seen so far. Anyone with gluten issues would be thrilled with the selection.”


Image courtesy of Lisa L.

Have YOU visited Fratelli?
Tell us about your experience!

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Kimberley
    May 1, 2013, 10:56 am

    Great review, Sylvia! Very comprehensive. I do agree about the cost vs. value issue.
    Kimberley recently posted… something different: the drunk postman, a snippet.My Profile

  • Lisa M May 1, 2013, 11:05 am

    I quite loved my meal and can’t wait to go back. I ordered the vegetarian with penne and grilled shrimp. The vegetables were cooked to perfection, the penne was perfectly al dente and the shrimp was jumbo sized and very flavourful. I agree with the oil/vinegar plate: more than one for a long table of eight diners is a must! Lynne R. kindly shared some of her arugula starter salad with me and it was divine! The beets were fresh, perfectly cooked and the arugula had a nice peppery taste. She also shared some of her rice ball from her main course. It was heaven! Like deep fried risotto, yum. For desert, I took our server’s suggestion and tried the special, a peanut butter, chocolate, mocha cheesecake that was creamy and delicious. A perfect ending to a meal I thoroughly enjoyed.

  • Lisa L May 1, 2013, 6:36 pm

    Fratelli is a quaint little spot for a small to medium size group looking for authentic Italian food. The decor is fresh and the space is friendly and clean, a very welcoming atmosphere.
    I found the attention to detail to be lacking with the small details that a restaurant in this category should make a priority. I agree that the dipping of the bread was awkward at best, candles went unlit, and service in all aspects should have been more attentive. I found the staff to be friendly but lacking that little something that makes for a great experience.
    It’s hard for me to pass up home made gnocchi when I see it on a menu, so I decided to see what Fratelli had to offer. I thoroughly enjoyed the bolognese sauce (home made and super fresh) and enjoyed the gnocchi itself but my personal preference is for a firm and slightly chewy dumpling, so I did find them slightly soft for my liking-but would order it again with enthusiasm.
    I hope to return to Fratelli to sample more from the menu as I was impressed by all the food that was brought to our table. I hope that when I return I will find that all those personal touches that make that great dining experience in place to truly make this spot a new favorite for me.

  • Mirjana Kr via Facebook May 1, 2013, 8:25 pm

    I went to dinner @ Fratelli Pasta Grill with my boyfriend in early March & we really enjoyed the food. Everything was delicious! It was a very nice restaurant to dine in but the service that was received from the waiter wasn’t up to par. Our candle wasn’t lit, he only came over to check on us once even though he had time to hang out at another table & have shots with them. He also took so long coming back to get my dessert order that I ended up not placing an order. I was not a happy camper that I didn’t get my dessert There were a few other things that I can’t recall now but he just didn’t seem attentive enough or just lacked experience, not sure which it was. So excellent food but poor service.


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