UPDATE 9/6/2013: Fortino’s Bistro is now closed.
Monday’s THRIVE Lunch was at the newly opened Fortino’s Bistro. Fortino’s opened its doors in March and brought another fine dining option to Appleton’s lovely downtown area. As could be expected, the turnout for THRIVE on Monday was excellent. The crew started trickling in a bit later than normal, but by 11:45 we had filled the better part of Fortino’s front dining room.
An Easy and Tasty Express Lunch
The crew at Fortino’s Bistro started everybody off with water and lemonade and kept everything simple, quick, and straightforward. There were two choices for the express lunch: baked macaroni and cheese or fettuccine pomodoro with seared chicken. Far and away the fettuccine pomodoro was the preferred dish for lunch, but a couple folks did opt for the mac ‘n cheese. Personally, I decided on the fettuccine. Ever since I had a bad run-in with some organic mac ‘n cheese a few years ago I’ve avoided mac ‘n cheese like the plague.
The express lunch started with a richly flavored side salad that received a lot of positive comments from my fellow lunch goers. One of my tomatoes was a bit on the frozen side, but otherwise the salad top notch and just the right size considering what we had coming. Shortly thereafter the main course started hitting the table. As you can see, the fettuccine pomodoro with seared chicken is exactly as you might have imagined it to be. It also came with a side of broccoli. The chicken was moist and not overcooked, but a few strands of the fettuccine could have benefited from a bit more time with the oven.
About half way through the lunch our waiter came out with a couple of trays of a baked flat bread generously flavored with onion. It was a pretty nice bonus on top of everything else we had experienced thus far that day. As if all that was enough, desert was a single scoop of a vanilla bean ice cream. I’m a total sucker for ice cream (and many other things), so that really put Fortino’s Bistro over the top considering this entire spread of salad, pasta, chicken, lemonade, broccoli, salad, onion bread, and ice cream came in at only $10.50.
In summary, was it perfect? No. Was it a great little experience that will send me back to order off the regular menu? Most definitely.
204 E College Avenue
Appleton, WI 54911