I was invited to dine as a guest of Fratelli Fresh however all opinions are entirely my own.
Melbourne wasn’t exactly in need of another Italian restaurant serving up pizza and pasta, but Fratelli Fresh was welcomed with open arms because well.. we like our pasta. A lot.
Sydney’s favourite Fratelli Fresh took over The Alfred in the City, (most recently home to the temporary Stokehouse), filling the two-storey large open space occupying two floors. The Cut Steakhouse takes the top level and Fratelli Fresh fits out the bottom floor.
With bold chequered marble floors, Art Deco light fittings, a standalone bar and enough room for after work drinks with your crew this is a great choice for a Friday at 5pm, lunch meetings or a mid-shopping re-fuel when in the CBD.
We sampled the Spring menu and it was full of bold, fresh classic Italian flavours we all know and love. The first thing that stood out was the quality of the ingredients, from the charcoal toasted sourdough, creamy burrata and savoury delights throughout the house made tomato sugo.
Aperol Spritz’, the Italians gift to sunshine, where ordered the bitter sweet refreshing spritz briefly took me away to a Summer on the Amalfi Coast.
Aaaand, you’re back in the room. Starter time: the menu had a wide range of antipasti dishes, it took us a while to decide but I was perfectly content with our choice of the Fresh Proscuitto, Burrata and Figs on Sourdough as soon as it arrived. Soft creamy burrata cheese that melted in your mouth nestled between perfectly slow roasted caramelized figs in our entree bought us to our knees (figuratively speaking of course) upon first bite. The salty proscuttio was a welcome addition and of course the meal was topped with the finest extra virgin olive oil.
For mains I can rarely go past pasta, so two bowls of pasta where shared. We went with the spinach and ricotta ravioli in a fresh punchy tomato sugo, and a mushroom tortellini cacio e pepe. I only recently tried cacio e pepe at Bar Liberty and I have lit a fire I never knew existed inside, a desperate need for cacio e pepe on a regular basis.
The ravioli was cooked to al dente perfection, with a nice tender bite to the pasta that ensured you savoured every bite. The filling was light and subtle flavours of spinach, parmesan and ricotta where the perfect morsels to scoop up the tomato passata the ravioli bathed in. Covered in the obligatory parmesan and this was a perfect pasta dish. If only there where more (not because the portion sizes where small, because I am a pasta hog). This is being ordered again, and again, and again.
The cacio e pepe was again, al dente tortellini covering a porcini mushroom mixture in a light, loose bath of sharp parmesan sauce with lashing of freshly cracked black pepper. I am still in the lust phase of this dish and I was savouring every bite in a heavenly umami cloud.
For dessert we couldn’t go past hazlenut gelato from the Fratelli Fresh Gelato Stand. You go up, pick whatever flavour tickles your fancy and the waiter attentively places a spoon at your table upon your return. The gelato was light, creamy and the prefect palate cleanser after our rich flavour-that-punches-you-in-the-face pastas.
I will be back to Fratelli Fresh – the menu was my kind of food. I will take any chance I can get to go back there and indulge in the wood-fired pizzas, the arancini and more pasta. It’s easy on the wallet too – Fratelli is casual pizza and pasta. There are around 25 items on the menu that are under 20 bucks and they do after work drink and food deals. ~Hello Friday~