Your Jefferson County Tourism Council’s Restaurant Review Crew returns to Whitewater, Wisconsin, this time visiting Fanatico Italian Restaurant.
“Fanatic. To be wild, or mad or crazy about.”
FANATICO (FORMERLY FRATELLI’S) RISTORANTE ITALIANO
162 W MAIN ST
Tuesday 11: 00 am – 9:00 pm
Wednesday 11: 00 am – 9:00 pm
Thursday 11: 00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday 11: 00 am – 10:00 pm
Saturday 11: 00 am – 10:00 pm
Sunday 11: 00 am – 8:00 pm
In your Review Crew’s latest fine food foray, we discovered Whitewater’s newest restaurant – a shining, dining gem named FANATICO – (Formerly Fratelli’s.) Owner & chef Benny is mad about delivering delicious, high quality Italian coupled with smooth, attentive service including tableside visits by the owner & chef himself, all at down-to-earth Wisconsin prices in Fanatico’s tastefully appointed dining room.
You will love this place. You will be so glad you dressed down (think casual Italian.) You’ll think; “Hey it’s only a short drive to that quaint college town Whitewater” as you get into your car (do this immediately), “you know, pleasant, country miles from anywhere,” as you build anticipation, thinking about Fanatico’s simple, elegant menu.
Cocktails, wine and beer in hand, baskets of warm, garlicky breadsticks appeared with the well-trained staff pouring just the right amount of garlic and olive oil on our individual bread plates – a classy touch. We were encouraged to add parmesan cheese and hot peppers to the mix. A delightful start to the meal, the breadstick baskets were refilled often with friendly smiles.
Dinners come with soup or salad. Zuppa Del Giorno (Soup of the Day) a Minestrone delighted the palate and left us hungry for the next course. The House Salad was nicely constructed, and included greens and grape tomatoes. Dressings were delicious. One of our group chose the Insalata Caprese($8.00) to share. Beautifully presented, the combination of tomato and mozzarella slices, basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil drizzled with balsamic vinagrette won our admiration.
ENTREES WE CHOSE
Penne a la Vodka ($11) – penne pasta tossed in creamy tomato basil sauce with a touch of vodka Baked Salmon Fillet ($18) – baked salmon coated with Dijon-style mustard and seasoned with bread crumbs, then topped with butter Capellini Frutta de Mare ($15) – clams, calamari, mussels and shrimp in a light marinara sauce Chicken Sorrentino ($13) – chicken breast topped with eggplant, sliced tomato and mozzarella cheese in a sherry wine sauce
All entrees came with side choices of Penne a la Vodka or asparagus
Did I happen to mention dessert? Home-made cannolis (to die for), dripping in a fudge sauce. Tiramisu, and a frozen ice cream concoction called The Bomb topped off our meals with flair.
This reporter has rarely shared the fact that “every morsel of food served was consumed” (and the portions are large!). In the case of our meals at Fanatico, this was the case. The seafood was perfectly rendered, the pasta al dente. The chicken/eggplant dish melted in the mouth and the sides were worthy of constituting a light dinner all by themselves. Not a scrap left.
In a word: DELICIOSO, Chef Benny. Salud!
An entertaining storyteller, Chef Benny shared his passion for the culinary arts with our table. It all started with his Sicilian Grandfather. Little Benny would follow his PaPa as he made the wine, made the pasta, and with Benny charged with stirring the all-important sauce ALL DAY. The family moved to Long Island, New York, but Whitewater (and Jefferson County) are lucky that Benny moved west and we now have this talented, transplanted chef and engaging personality in our midst.
Go! Go to Fanatico! Benny and his staff will make you wild, mad and crazy enough to keep coming back again and again!
Katie was the Executive Director of the Lake Mills Main Street Program from 2011 to 2019 and was the Secretary for the Jefferson County Tourism Council. In 2019, she retired to explore a new fashion degree and travel throughout the world. Katie was also a writer and contributed a great deal of copy for our website and printed guide. She was a great asset to our organization and we'll miss her!