Lucky for you I Fratellini has ambiance in spades, and the food and drink to back it up. You can relax: A sweet night of deliciousness and soft, candlelit romance await, especially right now, when the overcast fall palette outside resembles the later-evening lighting within the trattoria with its early stages of rust, burnt orange, gold. This is a restaurant that screams, "Autumn!" And as such, you should maybe eat. Eat food! Order some bruschetta. Drink a couple glasses of Falesco Vitiano, an ace cab/sangio/merlot blend. It's frickin' fall! Drink lots of water. You should always drink lots of water. Smile! Order some dessert.
And then, take it higher! Order an espresso. Then, higher! A digestivo -- named as such for obvious reasons. Then, halt, and ponder this digestivo, Amaro Nonino, an Italian grape brandy served at I Fratellini in an exquisite glass the shape of a shotgun shell. The liqueur is burnt brown, comes in a stunning rustic bottle with a cork and a label that screams Italy archetype; you can almost imagine a crotchety old Italian stooped over a barrel in a barn, rubbing his knuckles and sniffing his backwoods creation.
Herb-infused Amaro Nonino is a bit easier on the nose than a bitter grappa, the latter an acquired taste that we've yet to fully, er, acquire. Amaro has much more backbone than a sweet Muscat; it sits somewhere in the middle there, and, truth be told, the digestivo has much in common with Jägermeister. Wait, don't run away; it's a similarly created liqueur, and you can definitely taste some anise within the Italian elixir. But unlike its German ally, Amaro Nonino is subtle and multidimensional, with a delicate flavor of burnt vanilla and molasses. And don't shoot it. It's a perfect drink for languishing, for recovering, as a complement to the tingle that accompanies a good meal. Consider: It's always important to exit such a heavenly space feeling nice, warm, happy and humming.
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