It is always rewarding to discover a great new restaurant that, although it may be a bit off the beaten track, maintains levels of both quality and value that dwarfs the performance of higher profile eateries proudly positioned on the main boulevards of Ensenada’s tourist district. Of such a breed is Fratelli’s Restaurante.
It’s not that the owner, Chef Humberto Velasco Manzo, eschews this understandably popular locale; he once operated a bistro in the area that became quite popular. Unfortunately, its physical space was so small that his ever growing legion of satisfied customers were often lined up out the door waiting to be served. So, rather than paying an even higher rent for a larger venue downtown and having to raise prices to his patrons, he decided to relocate about a mile south of the district, just a few blocks east of Avenida Reforma on Boulevard Zertuche. That move allowed Humberto to continue serving his staggeringly generous portions of delicious Italian cuisine to his grateful guests without boosting the prices on his menu.
Located in a mixed business and residential neighborhood, this petite diner may not be spacious, but it is large enough to accommodate over half a dozen tables, and has an atmosphere that faithfully portrays the character of an Italian trattoria.
The menu is surprisingly extensive, and their pricing is extremely reasonable; but it is not until you get a gander at the enormous amount of attractively plated food placed before you and savor your first bite that you realize what a fantastic find this place is.
From Fetuccini Alfredo and Linguini Vangole e Gamberí to Chicken Cacciatora and a delicious oven baked lasagna, Fratelli’s offers a plethora of tasty pasta dishes. They also feature scrumptious pizzas and a wide variety of soups and salads.
Unlike some local restaurants, their house wine by the glass comes from very good local stock. And those who like to bring their favorite vintage with them will be delighted by the low corkage fee that is charged here — only 30 pesos, as opposed to up to 100 pesos at other local restaurants with comparable cuisine.
When it comes to dessert, try some of their delicious date studded cheesecake or let Humberto amaze you with his outstanding Crème brûlée. His English skills are excellent, and he is happily prepared to assist new visitors in making a suitable menu selection if need be.
One thing is a given; if you leave Fratelli’s hungry it’s your own fault. The restaurant is open every day except Wednesday between 9:00am and 8:00pm. If you would like to have a pizza ready when you arrive, simply give them a quick call about 30 minutes before you get there.