Note: Bar Due has now closed
Fratelli’s Bar Dué Happy Hour in Portland
Hi, PFDers! Hap here. Did you miss me? I’ve been traveling. I don’t know about you, but I find it’s always best to visit the state parks during the week before or after Memorial Day weekend, because the weather is good and most kids are still in school, so the peace and quiet of nature is closer to undisturbed. It’s always good to get back to the city, though, where there is espresso and muffins to be had at someplace besides the Starbucks in the nearest gas station.
Portland’s hippest, happening’est spot du jour is the Pearl – at least, until they finish the SW Waterfront community under the Flying Airstream Trailer (also known as the OHSU Tram). And the Pearl is never more fun for locals and the rest of us than on the infamous First Thursday. Bars and galleries are the hot spots that evening each month. Eating cheap can leave a few more bucks in your pocket for that Warhol-esque oil painting of a Nascar you’ve been eyeing through the window of your favorite gallery. (You don’t actually live in the Pearl, do you, sir?)
Anywho – one of my favorite spots in the Pearl has always been Fratelli’s. The food is consistently good, the service just right. And now they’ve expanded into the space next door and turned it into one of the coolest bar spaces in Portland.
I love it!!
Their happy hour is a generous 4:30-6 and 9 to closing with a $2 drink minimum.
That drink minimum is not difficult to meet, as they don’t discount the drinks for Happy Hour. However their regular prices are not outrageous, and there are always some familiar standbys on the menu. I didn’t see or try anything groundbreaking or overly creative, though. Just solid favorites at reasonable prices.
The food is an interesting concept: Everything is cooked in a wood-burning oven. And everything is $5.
On a recent trip the menu had these Happy Hour items:
w/ olive tapenad and shaved Pecorino Sardegn a
w/ prosciutto and house-made mozzarella
w/ tomato, hours-smoked mozzarella and basil
w/ tomato and fennel and salami
Veal meatballs with gorgonzola
Roast lamb with salsa verde
Braised beef semolina panini with spiced pickle & onion marmalade
Polenta with mozzarella and prosciutto
Asparagus wrapped in pancetta with Aleppo pepper aioli
Lasagna with beef, pork and bechamel
Mixed green salad with roasted spring vegetables and lemon oil
The portions were really pretty big, large enough to share if you want to try several items.
Last time we were there, they had just opened the new bar area, and the bar menu was spankin’ new, so let’s blame the food on that. Yep, sorry to say, the bar food was nowhere near as good as the restaurant food. In fact, it was pretty bland, kind of greasy and generally mediocre. Bummer!
Sitting at the bar that first evening, the smell of the herb they were using for mojitos was awfully strong. If it was mint, it was an odd variety. I thought it smelled more like Fever Few, which looks just like mint, but has a strange Ivory Soap smell to it.
However, I’m going to give them another try sometime soon. I want to like the food! I want it to be as good as the restaurant! I’m hoping they’ll keep the food prices, reduce the portions and upgrade the ingredients, technique and presentation of the dishes, and perhaps come up with some unique mixed drink concoctions.
They’ve nailed the atmosphere. The food and drink changes would make this a real destination, First Thursday, Third Thursday – or any day!
Go. Eat. Drink. Be Happy!
- Phone: (503) 241-8800
- Address: 1230 NW Hoyt St, Portland, OR. 97209 (just behind Oba) .
- Hours: Happy hour 4:30 – 6, and 9 to closing.
- Website: FratelliCucina.com