After a stressful week in the city, C and I crave some downtime, somewhere to relax. Most weekends, Noosa is the destination. Noosa has a host of good restaurants and some of the best produce in Australia. I absolutely love going to the Noosa Farmer's Markets and bringing home fresh produce for the week.
We walked around Sunshine Beach at 8pm on a Saturday night looking for somewhere to eat. Probably not the smartest move... Squid Ink couldn't fit us, Coconut Grove looked full so to up Fratellini we went.
Fratellini is a staple for us. It is probably the third time I have been there in as many months. Fratellini is anything but neat but it is quite lovely. The setting is very eclectic - it features odd chairs and tables, a wall mural with quotes and some really interesting hanging mobiles. The atmosphere is relaxed and chilled and the staff at Fratellini know how to set the mood. When we walked in Neil Young was the music so C was already very happy. The staff are friendly but VERY relaxed and stepping into Fratellini makes you chill out too.
The food is Italian but none of that poncy stuff. Fratellini specialise in hearty meals. They have an extensive pizza and pasta menu and the pizza is not half bad. I haven't ever eaten the pasta but it looks good too. The pizzas are square and have a wide range of toppings available. Previous experience dictates that eating in = better food.
The entree list has options such as Fennel and Pork meatballs, Prawns, a trio olives and dusted squid which all range from $12-$16.
There is a standard list of mains but there are also always a number of options on the board. I like to pick from the specials because they are always fresh and seasonal and use some really good local produce.
I decided to have Quarto of scallops wrapped in prosciutto served on the half shell for $16 as an entree to share and the special veal scallopine, herb crumbed and smashed on chat potatoes with silver beet and feta. My main PIE (partner in eating) C went with another of the specials- the lemoncello and saffron roasted chicken supremo on zucchini ribbons and kifler potatoes.
I had the cocktail of the day- a mojito made with mount gay rum.
We were seated outside and there are big window spaces which allow you to see into the restaurant. This really adds to the feel of the place and the bar was right next to me. My mojito was passed out the window and onto the table which, anywhere else, might seem a bit strange. At Fratellini- it just seemed really normal.
The mojito ($14) was served in a short glass and was absolutely delicious. My only complaint was that I wanted more more more. It was a little short for $14 but was one of the better mojitos I have had lately.
Next the scallops were delivered. You may have figured out that I am an absolute scallop fiend and these were really great. They were cooked perfectly and the prosciutto with garlicky sauce made the perfect accompaniment without overpowering the scallops. The presentation was also nice.
The scallops were devoured in about a minute and I spent the next ten minutes wishing I hadn't shared with C.
Our mains arrived and I revised my decision because my plate was stacked up. I have to admit my dish was less than pretty- in actual fact it was pretty ugly. But I am not one to shy away from the ugly and I tackled that sky high pile head on. The silver beet was really filled with flavour- loved it. The feta only added to the flavour and even though it is a well known combo, this version was really good. The veal was pedestrian. I thought it was overcooked, the crumbing was flavourless and I wound up feeling disappointed by what should have been the star of the dish. To be honest, I was a little bit shocked given the calibre of the other dishes.
C's chicken was moist and well cooked. The food was no frills and the lemoncello sauce wasn't as tangy as I'd have liked but basically C summed it up by saying the dish was very hearty and was a pleasure to eat.
I actually think this sentiment suits Fratellini down to the ground. Even though my veal lacked panache it was a pleasure to dine at Fratellini.
36 Duke Street
(07) 5474 8080