112 West Center Street #100 Fayetteville, AR 72701
479 455 555
Atmosphere: Casual yet classy
The interior of the Fresco Café gives the impression of a well loved (and well decorated) home. The couches, the drapes and the tablecloths are colorful and warm, much like the staff and the owners. The restaurant, which is located just off the downtown square, offers a fantastic view of Old Main, and on a quiet winter evening, it is the perfect place to drink a cocktail or grab a bite. Having only been open for five months, it’s only a matter of time before Fresco Café transforms from a well-kept secret into a Fayetteville favorite.
With entrees under $10, Fresco Café is a good deal all the time, but during Happy Hour, the prices are even better. The Café offers appetizers for $5 and select cocktails for $3. The cocktails change daily, but the staple drinks, one of which is usually on the menu, are all phenomenal. (I don’t say that about just any cocktail.) My verdict is that Fresco Café offers a true deal: well-mixed cocktails with quality spirits for a price that would make most bar owners shudder.
To put the value of Fresco Café’s Happy Hour in perspective, consider the typical $2 well drink with substandard liquor with one mixer. Sure, it’s cheap, but everything about it — from the recipe to the booze to the presentation — is slung together with the sole intention of churning out one after another.
Fresco Café offers Absolut, Stolichnaya, and even Maker’s Mark as a base to their Happy Hour Specials for only $3. It’s a steal! (And the bartender actually takes time to make you a drink with more than one ingredient! How sweet!)
No, Midus is not a typo. The drink was named after the bar owners Michael Andrews and Dustin House. With a base of Absolut Raspberry, The Midus is a sweet drink that is balanced by the flavors of orange and cranberry juices. A splash of Sprite tops it off and adds a crisp and refreshing quality. This drink is great for anyone who likes raspberry tea or Bellinis.
Guys, if you want to try this drink, but are hesitant about the presentation, ask the bartender to nix
the Hurricane glass and the lemon zest. You can pass it off as a (slightly peach-colored) double screwdriver in a water glass.
Wowzers. Like most traditional red Sangrias, Fresco Café’s version of the drink is made from thehouse red wine (Tisdale Cabernet Sauvignon), oranges, limes, and lemons, and topped with Sprite. What makes this a standout drink is the surprising ingredient of E&J Brandy. The wine and brandy compliment one another so well, it’s almost like drinking a hybrid concoction in which the two have been atomically bound together. Some Sangrias can taste bitter because of the tannins in the wine, or overly sweet due to the amount of fruit or syrup added to the drink. Fresco Cafe avoids both of these pitfalls with what is, so far, the best Sangria I have tasted in downtown Fayetteville.
The Apple Martini
I know. I know. You’ve had it before, and if you’ve had it before, you’ve probably had a bad one — either with too much Pucker or too much vodka — so you just gave up all together on the appletini and decided to try a vodka tonic instead. If you’re willing to give it another shot, Fresco Café is the
place to go. This simple drink is a great example of THE Apple Martini, you know, what an apple martini is supposed to taste like. Rimmed with sugar and made with sour apple Pucker and Stolichnaya vodka, this is a classic, well-made drink that begs to be revisited.
The Spinach Artichoke Dip
“Classic” is a great way to describe Fresco Café’s menu, and the spinach artichoke dip is no exception. Piping hot and topped with feta, the dip is perfect for sharing with a co-worker or someone special. When possible, Fresco Café uses local ingredients, which is an added bonus when ordering from their food menu.