When Fratelli Fresh closed its doors in Potts Point early in 2018 Sydneysiders took a moment of silence for this much celebrated Italian providore. Thankfully for us though, it wasn't long until Fratelli’s new site in Darling Harbour was open and it's here to stay.
Set opposite the Chinese Gardens and seating up to 550 people it is a mammoth venue. Upon receiving an invitation to try the new Spring menu, I immediately started planning an outfit.
It’s mid week when I visit and sadly on this day Spring is very much absent, so my idea of wearing a whimsical flowing dress is abandoned for some French linen trousers, an embellished navy blazer and a crisp white blouse. The sky may be grey but the vibrant interiors of Fratelli’s eighth restaurant more than compensates.
Setting foot inside you can’t help but feel a tangible buzz of excitement and the vastness of the restaurant is empahsised with ceilings that soar to great heights. Red banners fall from above punctuating the space and every corner has something different to offer.
In true emporium style there’s specialist food areas and multiple bars so dining at Fratelli is truly an interactive experience. There is a dessert bar of course but I’m most delighted to hear that they also have Australia’s very first Campari bar. Could this be true? It’s hard to believe because on any given weekend it’s likely you’ll find me sipping a Campari with soda or even a stiff Negroni! Surely I’m not alone am I? Campari Bar – thank God you’re here!
I will get to the spring menu but whilst on beverages I must tell you Fratelli Fresh has one of the best happy hour offerings I’ve ever seen. $5 Espresso Martinis, Negronis, Aperol Spritz, House Beers & Wine plus $5 Classic Pizzas (which is a choice of a Margherita or Diavola pizza) Mon-Fri 4pm-6 pm. You can thank me later!
Head Chef, Gabor Denes talks about the new additions to the menu this spring, expressing “they showcase spring in all its glory: a bounty of crisp, colourful produce and fresh flavours.” The seasonal dishes are refreshed with light vinaigrettes, lemon zest and fresh herbs and the menu is intermixed of course with Fratelli’s signature and classic dishes.
The Tuna Tartare is a stand-out and it’s beautifully presented. The avocado has been whipped ever so smoothly to a mousse like consistency and the crunch of the rye croutons imparts a lovely contrast of textures. I also love the antipasti of Burrata, oozing with creaminess and the purple baby beets marry well with the sweet strawberry, balsamic and pistachio.
The next hero is the Spring Garden Pizza and I decide it’s the favourite for the day. It is light and delicate with a white base, goats’ cheese, fior di latte, cute baby carrots, asparagus, snow peas and cherry tomatoes. The goats cheese is stunning and the sprigs of dill along with what’s described as “lemon dust” really add that zesty spring flavour. Yum!
Summer is around the corner and for those watching their waistlines you’ll be pleased to hear most of the pasta dishes can be modified to a low carb, gluten free option using Zoodles (zucchini noodles). This is a great idea and my advice is to save a few calories with a Zoodle main so you can indulge at the incredible dessert bar.
Leaving the best till last, the perfectly formed rows of delectable treats in the dessert bar is incredibly tempting. The only problem is deciding on just one. Banoffee Pie? Ricotta Baked Cheese Cake? Chocolate Tortas? I’m feeling pleasantly overwhelmed. It’s like Charlie in the Chocolate factory for me and that’s before I even spot the gelato!
If you like gelato, they have a whole glass cabinet full of flavours. Someone hold me back from these beautiful mounds of deliciousness… but wait… is that salted caramel hazelnut gelato?! It’s a gift from heaven… my two favourite flavours combined into one. Its decided! I’ll take a tub!
Outfit guides for Fratelli Fresh is why not wear something fun! With all the vibrant colours inside this venue, along with the Italian vibes I am now imagining a beautiful bright Dolce & Gabbana dress. Here is some inspo for you!
SOMETHNG LUX Dolce & Gabbana
SOMETHING INSPIRED Zara
If your style is more classic why not wear your fail safe denim with a blazer but inject the sense fun with some bright heels or a quirky clutch. My best advise is whatever you decide to wear make sure you have room for a food belly. xx