I am an academic and writer living in Melbourne. I love to travel and I also love writing about all the things Melbourne, regional Victoria and other parts of Australia have to offer.
Published November 13th 2016
A new Italian in town
You would think that there is no more room in Melbourne for another Italian eatery. Well you would be wrong, there is always room for fresh pizza and pasta, served in an unpretentious, casual, yet professional way.
Fratelli Fresh, a restaurant with 5 Sydney locations, has now made its mark in Melbourne. Located in The Alfred, Fratelli Fresh serves delicious, thin-dough pizzas and freshly made pasta dishes as well as mains, accompanying salads and desserts.
Our night began with entering a large, inviting space with chequered black and white marble floors, retro fittings and a rather large pizza oven. Accents of red in the furnishings, tiles and on the beautiful coffee machine add Italian charm and ambience.
A slide show on the walls of typical Italian scenes provides conversation starters, reminiscing or planning the next Italian adventure. I particularly liked the photo of an old leather suitcase perched on the back of a Fiat Cinquecento.
An Italian adventure - as portrayed at Fratelli Fresh
Complimentary pizza dough balls with garlic butter and olive oil (brought after our request) were light, very delicious bread balls that went well with our first beer and glass of rose. Foccacia di Recco, a thin flatbread pizza with olive oil, thyme and a hint of cheese had us appreciating this restaurant already. Even my companion, a home pizza chef extraordinaire, agreed that the dough and pizza matched his, something he admits very rarely.
The mushroom risotto and chilli and scampi paccheri pasta that followed, only confirmed our initial feeling that this is a restaurant worth visiting. A salad of witlof, radicchio, rocket, walnuts and pear was a refreshing accompaniment to the risotto and pasta.
There is a limited mains menu of two meat and two fish dishes and these too sounded delicious, simple, yet full of flavour. The pizza menu offering a selection of the best gourmet pizza toppings, mozzarella di buffallo, San Daniele prosciutto, artichokes, salumi and many others, point to our next visit of trying a couple of these.
Fratelli Fresh serves food that is fresh, simple and unpretentious in casual, yet very Italian-like surroundings. The pizzas and pasta dishes are good value, a typical meal for 2 with a glass of wine can be had for under $100.The menu changes each season, the spring menu is now in place. The staff are very friendly and professional and couples, families and groups would feel equally at home. Next time I will make sure I leave room for the gelato!