Let's talk Fraiche for a while, because why not? Rex's sister-restaurant offers a French inspired menu, one that's certainly higher end than the neighboring burger joint, and one that does what it does well.
We sampled the snails and bacon appetizer, and very good they were. There wasn't much here to overpower the flavor of the actual snails, thankfully, and the small pieces of bacon played more of a flavor enhancer role than the "two pounds of bacon and three snails" that seems to be oddly common. Snails, when done right, are great both in flavor and texture and they should be celebrated. Thus the Fraiche appetizer was a winner in my book.
The duck followed suit; not much there to overpower the lightly seasoned, crispy meat which was perfectly cooked medium-rare. An accompanying polenta cake flanked the delicate flavor of the duck alongside a serving of asparagus.
This wasn't an oh my god I have never seen anything like it before type of dish. Nor should it have been. It was simply a well-executed duck with well-balanced flavors. Something as simple as that can be complicated to pull off and I am happy whenever it happens.
The sea bass special went over well, too. Again, lightly seasoned, with a very good butternut squash and potato side.
"French" and "French inspired" can mean many things these days, but Fraiche hit the bullseye in terms of what I expect from a more bistro-y restaurant. Anything we tried here was well prepared, and the front-of-house was friendly and professional.
Fraiche is, judging by our first visit, a good restaurant, and we'll definitely will be back.