Fratelli is a friendly and stylish Italian restaurant in Ponteland. It is the perfect place for a romantic meal for two, or for the whole family to enjoy a real taste of Italy. The interior certainly has the wow factor; every surface oozes glamour. On arrival, charming staff showed us to our luxurious booth where we enjoyed an Aperol Spritz while choosing what to eat. The happy hour menu represents excellent value for such an elegant venue, but we decided to order from the à la carte in order to experience the wealth and breadth of Fratelli’s Italian offering.
We began by sharing a few small antipasti plates, including gamberoni – succulent king prawns in two different sauces, one bursting with garlic, butter and chilli and the other rich with tomatoes and a hint of chilli. More seafood followed with the tastiest calamari I’ve had outside of Italy – the squid was cooked and seasoned to perfection with light, crisp batter – and a couple of plump, seared scallops served in a beautiful sauce of chickpeas, spinach and Italian spicy sausage. Wanting to sample some cold meat, our final antipasto was melt-in-the-mouth fillet steak Carpaccio. We followed this with a pasta course, and I plumped for Sardinian malloreddus sardi – which translates as fat little calves. This delicious pasta was served in piquant tomato-based sauce with Sardinian sausage. My friend’s vegetarian penne primavera dish served its namesake well; it was packed with cherry tomatoes and courgettes, and just a touch of garlic and basil. Moving on to our mains, we chose meat and fish dishes respectively. My spigola saltimbocca was a contemporary twist on the Italian classic, comprising tender sea bass fillets wrapped in Parma ham and served atop saffron risotto. My friend’s roast belly pork in peppercorn sauce was accompanied by green beans and sautéed potatoes, and was perfectly paired with a fruity house red.
With just enough room for dessert, we finished our Italian feast with two homemade classics – tiramisu and affogato. Both dishes disappeared in seconds, a testament to the quality of cooking at Fratelli. With an extensive menu of fantastic food, an attractive wine list and an incredibly sophisticated setting, Fratelli is the perfect place to spend an evening enjoying authentic Italian cuisine.