Pioneering Italians were not only the first to put tomatoes in cuisine, they were also the first people to take photographs of themselves pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Delight in their inventiveness with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Italian fare at The Fratello’s Bistro in Fowler.
For the past 16 years, family-owned Fratello’s Bistro has specialized in dishing up homemade Italian classics, cooked to order and bursting with homemade sauces and fresh produce. The culinary crew slings an expansive selection of pastas and showcases ingenious Italian stuffing techniques in their porcini mushroom ravioli ($15.99), lobster ravioli ($17.99), and piñata filled with Da Vinci's lesser sketches. Test the chewiness of a pizza (starting at $9) crafted with fresh dough or put glinting fork to juicy poultry with an order of chicken marsala ($14.99), doused in a wine sauce with mushrooms. Diners can conclude their meals by asking a sociable server for a sweet postscript in the form of tiramasu ($4.99) or a fanciful epilogue calligraphed on the tablecloth with a marinara-soaked mozzarella stick.
The chefs at Fratello’s Bistro, who’ve been practicing for more than a decade, cook comforting Italian food from fresh ingredients that are grown locally in the Valley. Starters of mussels marinara or stuffed mushrooms jump out from a menu of pastas, pizzas, and meatier entrees. The chefs prepare chicken, calamari, veal, and shrimp as entrees characterized by different vivid sauces. Spicy red fra diablo sauce brings zest to bell peppers, red wine adds complex depth to marsala sauce with mushrooms, and white-wine lemon-butter sauce graces plates with a lighter, delicate touch akin to a flower petal falling onto a marshmallow. Glasses of local wine and imported Chianti accent each meal.