Is Fratellos the new Taste of Thai?

Reid Stratton

The lack of nice, full-service, sit-down restaurants near campus has had a striking effect on the student body. Our idea of a night out is dinner at Erb’s ‘n’ Gerb’s and dessert at a vending machine. Taste of Thai is certainly a viable option for those looking for more than fast food, but for those who need more options look no further than Frattelos.
Frattelos (Italian for “brothers”) is located at 501 W. Water St., where J restaurant resided until just this summer. Actually, both J and Frattelos are owned by the same company, Supple Restaurant Group, which also owns The Melting Pot and the Fox River Brewing Company, among other businesses. This location is the second Fratellos to open in the Fox Cities; the first is located in Oshkosh.
While I lamented the loss of J when I found that Fratellos had replaced it, I couldn’t be happier by the advantages Fratellos boasts for students. J was a beautiful restaurant with very expensive food, the kind of place students can only pray their parents will take them, but Fratellos offers Italian cuisine at a price that the average Lawrentian can afford. The best part of the deal is that all the dcor from J remains, which means you get to eat in a fancy restaurant setting without the fancy restaurant price.
Fratellos offers a similar menu to that found at any Italian restaurant: meat and fish dishes, pasta and pizza, plus a selection of pub sandwiches. Of these, the pasta and pizza are the most desirable and affordable.
In the realm of pasta, I recommend anything with the marinara sauce. I thought that, of the three sauces Fratellos offers – Alfredo, pesto, and marinara – this is superior by far. It’s quite spicy, but with plenty of rich tomato flavor. The pesto is also good, though it lacks the rich olive oil flavor I prefer in a pesto, and the Alfredo is unimpressive – no different from what you could find at the Olive Garden. If you really feel like you want to try all three sauces, I suggest the tomato basil tortellini ($12.99).
If you’re looking for the real deals, then take a look at the pizza menu. A homemade, 10-inch pizza costs about $9 and provides more than enough substance to fill you up. The Margherita pizza ($8.99) is a great vegetarian choice, but if you just need meat then try the “Fratello’s Favorite “($9.49).
Of course, what would a night out at an Italian restaurant be without some tiramisu for dessert? Fratellos makes its own desserts, which is a big plus, though if you are afraid of whipped cream, steer clear of this confection. PS: Don’t tackle this one on your own, or you’re sure to be sorry.
Last but not least is my favorite part of Fratellos: the bar. Like the dining room, the Fratellos bar dcor is identical to J’s, and that means it’s a real visual pleasure. Fratellos offers four Fox River Brewing Company beers on tap and features a martini list of primarily tropical and sweet drinks. There is also a significant selection of wines to choose from.
To learn more about Fratellos go to It’s a great pick for the college student with the need for a little refinement.