Palazzo Trattoria, or Tratt's for those in the know (just kidding I made that up) is located at 2300 Westheimer. I went there the Saturday before last to attend the monthly meeting of the Mystery Writer's Association of the Southwest, which I bring up, once again, to prove how cultured I am. I'm sure that you will all be able to read my mystery novels sometime in the near future, after I have finished thinking them up.
I think that Tratt's is an excellent location for a group of mystery writers for a number of reasons, starting with the artwork on the walls. I'm not sure who exactly they commissioned to paint them, because for any other group of people they're kind of gross looking. It looks like someone painted tile floors onto a canvas, and then lobbed a water balloon filled with blood at them. Did you guys ever watch the Dilbert show when it was on? There was one episode where there's a blood drive and nobody shows up but Dilbert, and they guilt him into giving, like, ten gallons of blood, or something, I saw this a long time ago, and then the people in charge of the blood drive took it up to the roof of the building and lobbed it at the pointy haired boss. It was pretty funny, that was a pretty funny show in general, I wish they hadn't cancelled it my life would have been different with the Dilbert show in it. Anyway so I think that's how they created these paintings. It's pretty disgusting if you're a civilian, but if you're me, a member of the Mystery Writer's Association of the Southwest, it's more than that - it's a visual example to us of what it would look like if someone was murdered on what looks like every possible floor tiling available at your local Home Depot. It's a wonderful tool. +19
As well, the bathrooms are a wonderful place for a murder mystery to take place. In the ladies room, the doors had a sort of opaque glass paneling in them, so nobody could look in on you while you're taking care of business (picking the lock on your handcuffs with a bobby pin; this is a murder mystery, remember? You don't have time to tinkle, the clock's ticking and if you don't find the murderer soon they'll put you away for something you didn't do) but you can keep on eye on the shadows and see if anyone has entered the bathroom. Here's how that would work: you're X, the plucky heroine, and you've escaped from the back seat of the officer's car as he detours to Palazzo Trattoria on the way to the MWASW meeting in order to give a lecture on his daily life. You have a sneaking suspicion that while the officer is "a good guy", he's been suckered in by "the bad guy" and will do anything he can to destroy you. You don't want him to get in trouble with his superiors - he keeps a picture of his dead wife on his dashboard to remind him what crime can do to this world - but you need a little bit of time to track down the real killer of the museum curator and find the millions of dollars worth of paintings before it's too late. You sneak into the bathroom and are picking the lock when the officer realizes you're gone. He knew he should have dropped you off at jail before he gave his lecture, but the MWASW was his late wife's favorite organization, and he likes to do everything he can for them, in her memory. The whole organization fans out, searching for you, and you leave the door to the stall cracked, so that it looks like it's empty. The door to the bathroom opens, and you stop breathing. You can see the dark shape of a person on the other side, and you can hear the heavy footfalls of the officer, can hear the worry in his heartbeat, not more than inches and a thin, opaque sheet of glass away from your own. He doesn't see you, however, the lighting and the glass protecting you, and after a long, breathless moment he leaves. You crawl through a ceiling tile and escape. Thanks to Palazzo Trattoria (+32), you manage to find the true killer, who happened to be implicated in the killing of the cop's wife, as well. You find the paintings, you clear your name, and you and the officer, who's emotional baggage has been lifted through your efforts, fall in love and get married.
The other benefit of Palazzo Trattoria's is that, due to the influx of intelligent, crime savvy individuals who meet there once a month, you're less likely to get mugged there than any other Italian restaurant in the city as crime is scared of what could happen to them. +8