Fratelli’s in the 17th


Great restaurants are everywhere in Paris. Some are very fancy, and I love those on occasion. But our favorites are usually the friendly, quaint, neighborhood places where the locals hang out — where the food is great, and the service is friendly and welcoming. Restaurant Fratelli, over on Boulevard Malesherbes in the 17th, is just that kind of place. If you are ever in Paris and you’re craving Italian, THIS is the place to come.

My husband first discovered it through tripadvisor, where it’s rated #505 out of 13,396 restaurants in Paris — not bad for a simple little trattoria! It’s a lovely, little space, with brick walls, a gorgeous mirrored bar, black leather banquettes, and a large, outdoor dining room. The pizza they serve here is better than any I’ve found outside Italy, and their Carbonara is silky, creamy, salty…and perfect.

Leon had already been to the restaurant once before — on a business trip the year before we moved here. On that visit, the specialty of the day was a pizza made with truffles. Since he knows I’m a total truffle hound, he brought me back to Fratelli’s right after we moved to Paris, and told me to order the truffle pizza. Our adorable waitress, Anais, told me that unfortunately, the “Pizza Truffe” was no longer available, as it had only been a special item for a short while, months before. But she volunteered to go back to the kitchen to ask the chef if he would make it especially for me.

In just a moment, she came back to our table, winked, and told me that she was, in fact, dating the chef. So…of course, he would make me the special pizza.  Score!

Well, that pizza was heaven. I’d never tasted anything like it: crispy, wood-fired crust drizzled with truffle oil, shaved truffles and melted cheese, and finally, topped with a salad of fresh arugula, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Every couple of weeks or so, I’d get a craving for “Pizza Truffe” and we’d head back over to Fratelli. Each time we went for dinner, I’d look over all the beautiful things on the menu, thinking I’d try something new. But every time, like clockwork, as our sweet waitress, Anais, walked over, she’d smile at me and ask, “Pizza Truffe?” and I would laugh, and say, “Of course!” And that would be that. It didn’t matter that the kitchen hadn’t had that particular pizza on the menu for months. Truffle pizza was what I wanted, and she knew it. So, every time I came, she made it happen.

After a few months, I finally started trying some of their other beautiful dishes. The carbonara is insanely good, served with a raw egg yolk on top that you stir into the dish at your table, to make the sauce extra creamy. The linguini bolognese is subtle, but flavorful; the calamari is crisp and tender. And they have this wonderful red wine that they serve chilled — it pairs beautifully with almost every dish on the menu. Even their cappuccinos are heaven! In fact, everything I’ve ever tried here, has been great. And the service? Phenomenal.

From the moment you arrive, every single person in the restaurant makes you feel welcome. Every waiter, bartender and manager stops whatever they’re doing when you walk in, looks you in the eye, and with a big smile, says, “Bon jour!” You are shown to your table and the pampering begins. Every time I’ve been here, (and we’ve been here a lot) the waiters have been brilliant. Never interrupting the flow of our conversation, never drawing attention to themselves, but always slipping over to our table whenever they see the need: replacing carafes of water, pulling plates, bringing more bread. Every waiter is on constant alert…roaming around, making sure everyone is happy at all times.

And our adorable waitress, Anais? She’s the manager now! When we arrive, she still rushes over to give me kisses and ask how we are. And you know what else? Truffle Pizza is a standard item on the menu these days! Guess they realized how great it was, and decided to make it a regular thing. Well, that’s what I did with Fratelli…realized how great it was, and decided to make it a regular thing.

If you ever get a craving for home-style Italian food while you’re in Paris, trust me, Fratelli is the place to go.

Here’s the review on tripadvisor, just in case you’re interested!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s