Fratelli’s in Bedminster

On Thursday, my family and I went to Fratelli’s in Bedminster to have dinner. I’d mentioned earlier in the week that I wanted to find a really authentic Italian restaurant, something that should be quite easy around these parts. Thus we went to this little place at 959 US Highway 202, called Fratelli’s.

When we entered the restaurant, the host and waiters started talking to each other in Italian to arrange a table for us. When we sat down in the dining room, most of the people were families, in groups of 6+ people. The place of service was slow and relaxed, and our waiter took time to bring us menus and gushed over certain dishes and knew that an Indian family coming in was possibly vegetarian (and asked as when we’d sat down to guide us on the menu). What struck me the most was the pace of the whole dining experience. Slow, relaxing, saying coming here to enjoy the food and the company you’re in. It wasn’t a get in, get out way of eating. I’m pretty sure our family recorded a record long time eating at one restaurant.

The food, while simple, was exactly what I was looking for. We ordered a simple ricotta ravioli, a penne (which was incredibly al dente), and a breaded and fried eggplant dish (not sure what its name was). The dishes took their time to come out after we’d ordered them, but we were all pleasantly surprised when we received them. Simple and delicious, there was nothing far too fancy about them; just what you’d expect from a family run place.

I’d highly recommend eating at Fratelli’s. It’s likely out of the way unless you’re here and I’m fairly certain there’s no shortage of great Italian eateries in the NY/NJ area, but if you do happen to find yourself on US Highway 202, give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed.

Kite Runner

I finished reading The Kite Runner today, a bit late to the whole Kahled Hosseini party. It’s a quick read, a fast moving story that overall I found to be very enjoyable, albeit depressing. It was interesting to watch the pages of Afghanistan’s history turn through the course of the novel, as well as the life of a boy (and a man) torn by his own weaknesses. I’d highly recommend the book to anyone looking for a good story with a chilling historic backdrop. I need to see the movie next, as I’ve heard from multiple people that it’s quite moving as well. Next book on the winter break list is “This is Paradise! My North Korean Childhood” by Hyok Kang.

East Coast Bound

It’s vacation time! Work is finished up for the year, just a few loose ends to tie up at home, a little more packing to do, and I’m off on a plane for the East Coast. Not a whole lot planned. Going to the Met to see War and Peace (as an opera, we’ll see how that turns out) next Friday and possibly spending next Saturday in NYC as well. I’m just looking foward to spending time with the family and unwinding.

California SB 223

Senate Bill 223, passed and signed by the Governor last month prohibits property appraisers from colluding to artificially raise prices of their appraisals in order to raise their compenstation. In other words, they can’t base their fees on the prices at which they appraise a propery at. Can you believe this wasn’t illegal already? Crazy. From the text of the bill:

No person with an interest in a real estate transaction involving an appraisal shall improperly influence or attempt to improperly influence, through coercion, extortion, or bribery, the development, reporting, result, or review of a real estate appraisal sought in connection with a mortgage loan.

What Happened to RedYawning

About three weeks ago, the c: drive failed on RedYawning, my server that basically runs and hosts all my life (including websites, photos, etc). Luckily, this was just the system drive and it did not have any data on it. I keep all my data on a RAID-1 mirror, the d: drive of the machine. I ordered a new drive from NewEgg, popped it in, reinstalled Windows (2003 Server this time), and spent about two hours reinstalling everything. It was really quite easy with Windows Server, just mostly fiddilng knobs and dials to have it look like it did on the old Windows Server 2000. The server is back in action now, and back to blogging business for me.