Fratelli’s Authentic Italian Cuisine to Close After 13 Years

Fratelli’s Authentic Italian Cuisine Has Lost its Lease and Will Close for Six Months to Relocate.

Fratelli’s Authentic Italian Cuisine (a favorite restaurant that I have enjoyed for the entire 13 years it has been open), has lost its lease and closing its doors after the dinner service on March 16th.  SO, this is not a review… I’m just sharing.

 
 
 
 
The owner of Fratelli’s Authentic Italian Cuisine, Chef Teresa Tadeo Wittman, was born in Xoxocapa, Veracruz, Mexico. As a Mexico regional cuisine student/writer, that means something to me and I expected to see a very different menu on my first visit here. As a child, Chef Wittman was fascinated with the process of baking bread with her mother and the manipulation of it as it went through the rising and baking process. At the age of 14, she moved to Mexico City to work in a bakery. This was merely her portal into the world of cooking and while she worked in many other businesses, her love was food and she attended many cooking classes to learn classical Mexican, French and Italian cuisines. At any rate, while she was operating a flower shop in Mexico City, she met her husband-to-be, Bob Wittman. In 1991, she moved to Houston and married Bob. They traveled often to Italy due to her husband’s oil business and (trying to keep this from being a biography) her passion for Italian cooking flourished.
Pizza alle Pesto

Pizza at Fratelli’s Has Cracker-Thin Crust
 

So, on February 18th, Teresa hosted a “thank you” dinner for the media and many of her long-time custmers in an effort to get the word out and thank her loyal customers.

Regular customers need no reminder of the menu there, but as one of the long-time customers at Fratelli’s Authentic Italian Cuisine, I thought I might point out some of MY favorites and give those who have never tried the restaurant a reason to look forward to the reopening. Teresa has offered to keep customers up-to-date on the future opening by “friending” current and future diners on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/teresatadeo.wittman.

Favorites of mine begin with the pizzas and my simple go-to pizza,  the Pizza alle Pesto with oil, basil, onions, parsley and grilled chicken. The menu says “authentic wood-burning oven” and it should be taken seriously, as it was built by hand by her husband, Bob, in 2000 when they opened the restaurant. The menu also says “thin crust” and it is literally the thinnest crust I have ever seen on a pizza… cracker thin. If you are seeking a “Chicago-style”, or even a New York-style pizza, you may not be pleased, as the pizzas here take their character and flavor from the ingredients… not the crust. I was pleased and this has been where I get my pizza fixes. Normally, when I eat pizzas, there is a pile of crust left at the end of the meal. Not here, though. The pizzas are unique in Houston, in my opinion.

Insalata dei Mediterrranean

I usually follow the pizza with an Insalata dei Mediterrranean… a simple fresh salad with Romaine, tomato, Kalamata olives, cucumber, red onions, feta and a nice light vinaigrette. There’s not much one can say about a good salad, except that it is an excellent salad and I have a photo, so I included it… and I will order it again when they reopen

Gorgonzola Pear

In our dinner last night, I was impressed with a simple Gorgonzola Pear atop fresh baby spinach.

Ravioli di Formaggio con Ragu Bolognese

The Ravioli di Formaggio con Ragu Bolognese actually surprised the first time it was presented to me, as I didn’t recognize it. I had to uncover the ravioli to photograph it as it looked like a plate of very thick meat sauce. However, when I bit into the tender (yet slightly al dente) ravioli to expose the creamy ricotta and parmesan filling, my mind was taken away from the presentation immediately. This dish exemplifies, in my mind, the focus on authenticity at Fratelli’s and the total disregard for pretense and formality. The rustic meat sauce is prepared in the style of the Emelia-Romagna region of Italy.

Salmone Mostarda

I love the Salmone Mostarda… a salmon filet grilled and then very lightly sautéed with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach, with a creamy mustard sauce. My concern was that with almost any seafood I can think of, putting it through two cooking processes has the potential for overcooking. I see this as requiring a very short visit to a very hot grill and a very soft touch in the sautée pan. Both happen and the dish is exactly what you would want from it. Remember this for six months. 

Tiramisu

Cannoli

Many always order the Tiramisu in an Italian restaurant and Teresa’s is beautiful.  I have not had a creamier one or a more delicious one in Houston. Let the pictures of the Tiramisu and the Cannoli save me a thousand words on this one.

I suggest that you may want to try this restaurant before March 16th and then look forward to its reopening. That means that you still have over three weeks to try Fratelli’s before they close to relocate.

Fratelli’s Authentic Italian Cuisine

10989 N.W. Freeway

Houston, TX 77092

713- 957-1150

 

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