Fratelli Trattoria is nestled in “The Arches Circle” outlet center in Deer Park. There is a range of luxury shops as well as a movie theater in the center, giving you a variety of reasons to visit Fratelli’s. When you enter this eatery you will face the pizza counter and have a variety of decisions to make; you can go left to the main dining room to sit down, straight ahead for a slice of pizza, or right to the bar for a martini. There is also an outside patio available for al fresco dining in the warm weather months.
Fratelli’s is a welcoming, friendly restaurant with an affable, cozy bar. Our server cheerfully brought us a basket of warm bread and butter while we looked over the menu. The lengthy menu consists of pizzas, heroes, calzones, salads, wraps, pasta dishes and entrees. We were pleasantly surprised to open the martini menu and find a variety of unique cocktails made with superior alcohol and fresh fruit. The first to catch our eye was the Blueberry Martini, made of Stoli blueberry vodka and fresh muddled blueberries (below left). It had a sweet blueberry taste with a strong kick. Our server Evan recommended the Woo Woo-tini, their house specialty (below, second from left). This tasty punch-like cocktail was sugary and delightful. Our unanimous favorite was the Basil Grande Martini, made with Vodka, muddled fresh strawberries, basil, Chambord, Grand Marnier, cranberry juice, garnished with a fresh basil leaf and fresh ground pepper (below, second from right). It was refreshing, sweet and perfectly executed. We also recommend to feel free to order off the drink menu as the bartender also made a faultless Belvedere Dirty Martini (below right).
We started our meal with the Baked Clams (below left). You can order the appetizer with six or twelve clams, depending on your table size. They were served whole and had a delicious lemon butter flavor. The clams were meaty and tender and eagerly slid out of their shells.
Next we tried the Tri Color Mesclun Salad (above right). It was a Mesclun mix with baby arugula, radicchio, cranberries and walnuts, topped with goat cheese in a light raspberry vinaigrette. There are supreme textures, tasty fresh ingredients, and you can never go wrong with walnuts in a salad, especially with a nice tart dressing. This salad is nice to split with the table before dinner or add chicken or shrimp for a filling lunch.
On Monday and Tuesday nights there are impressive pasta night specials. For $13.95 you can get a salad, pasta and dessert. You have a choice between a mixed salad (below left) and a Caesar salad. Then you choose your pasta, two marvelous choices are the Rigatoni Fratelli and the Linguini with White Clam Sauce. The Rigatoni Fratelli is in a pomodoro wine sauce with onions, raisins, spinach and toasted pignoli nuts (below right). This is a hearty, filling and flavorful pasta dish. The Linguini with White Clam Sauce is a traditional favorite, a nice light sauce with an abundance of fresh clams.
There is a long and appetizing list of entrees; yet our stand out favorite was the Chicken alla Fratelli’s (below left). It is a chicken breast sautéed with garlic and onion topped with artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and melted mozzarella cheese in a white wine pomodoro sauce. The sauce has a nice garlic tone and was actually quite light. The artichoke hearts always prove to be scrumptious jewels in a dish such as this and if you are not a sundried tomato fan, feel free to ask your server to leave them out.
For those not in the mood for red sauce the Fratelli’s Herb Crusted Salmon is the ideal selection (above right). Fresh salmon served in their own special herb seasoning mix accompanied by a light Dijon mushroom sauce, served with sautéed broccoli and steamed asparagus. The salmon filet was expertly cooked and the vegetables had the perfect garlic flavor. There are sweet onions in every bite and a soft lemon undertone.
For dessert the classic chocolate lover will enthusiastically order the chocolate mousse cake and will not be let down (below left). It was not overly sweet and had a nice smooth chocolate flavor. The cappuccino was presented beautifully in a wine goblet (below right).
Fratelli’s is a great little spot for all occasions. The martini menu is quite impressive, as we did not have one that we did not find tasty or see one that wasn’t intriguing as we can only taste test so many in one night! If you need a quick bite for lunch there is the availability to sit by the bar and have a slice of pizza or a salad. If you plan to see a movie in the center it’s also a nice casual date spot. But by all means, this restaurant is a destination of its own. As a matter of fact, the restaurant is nearest to the parking lot so guests do not have to travel through the mall at all. The menu has a variety of traditional Italian favorites, something for everyone, and hardly goes above $19.95. For the price, atmosphere and variety, it’s a favorite.