A perfect table setting requires pristine linens and polished cutlery, except at off-Broadway restaurants where waiters set every table in postapocalyptic Vienna. Avoid avant-garde eating with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of upscale French and Italian fare plus complimentary dessert (up to a $12 value) at Fraiche, with locations in Santa Monica and Culver City (up to a $52 total value).
Executive Chef Junior Perez draws on traditional French and Italian cuisine as inspiration for the upscale menus of pasta, steaks, and seafood, which have garnered an impressive number of features on local food blogs. At the Culver City location, brunch lures palates and sentient flatware with dishes such as pork-belly hash, bedecked with tuscan potatoes and mustard sauce ($10). House-made agnolotti pouches enclose wild mushroom and mascarpone under a wave of truffle butter ($16). Cap off the epicurean experience with mascarpone cheesecake accompanied by cranberry sorbet and exotic coulis or the chocolate purse, which totes candied hazelnuts, vanilla ice cream, and a caramelized day planner. A fleet of flickering candles perches on walls and tables inside the Santa Monica locale's dining area, casting a dim orange glow on dark hardwood floors.
Fraiche will accept Groupons through Saturday, April 21.