When Broadsheet meets Fratelli Deli owners Johnny and Renee Chaptini, Paul Skounos and Nissrine Daher, the team has just finished putting some final touches on its new venue. The four have also swapped renovating attire for branded burgundy tees signalling that its opening date – Monday October 23 – is not far off.
Fratelli means “brothers” in Italian and the deli’s operation is very much a family affair. “It’s me and Renee, and then my cousin Niss [Nissrine] and Paul,” Johnny tells Broadsheet.
The idea for the deli came from scrolling through hunger traps online looking at mouth-watering pictures from Adelaide’s best sandwich spots. “Me and Niss would send each other sandwiches [on Instagram] – and Renee and I had always talked about opening a deli,” says Johnny. “I found this venue and we said, ‘let’s do it’.”
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The team has put a lot of thought into the anatomy of a great sanga and has come to the conclusion that cheese selection is make or break – especially when toasties are considered. “Most of the sandwiches use stracciatella, a very creamy ricotta-style cheese,” explains Renee. It brings the texture and a level of saltiness that’s a perfect complement to other, richer fillings. The team is importing fresh stracciatella from Melbourne once a week – “I don’t think there’s anyone in South Australia making it fresh yet,” Johnny says – to ensure quality.
Other ingredients are sourced much closer to home; ciabatta is baked up the road at Schinella’s and sourdough comes from Prove Patisserie.
Fratelli will offer over a dozen sandwiches – all made to order, naturally. Between the group members, there’s debate around which will emerge as favourites. The chicken alla vodka sandwich with crumbed chicken cutlets, house-made rose sauce, stracciatella and pesto is certainly shaping up as a contender, as is the combination of prosciutto with crushed pistachios, stracciatella and hot honey. The toastie selection includes a take on the classic Reuben with a secret Fratelli sauce, a mushroom and truffle mayo combo, and more.
The sides menu includes a “pasta wedge”, which Renee describes as, “crumbed, deep-fried pasta with olives, mozzarella and red sauce” and a panzanella salad which makes use of day-old bread, giving it a second life as crispy croutons.
Fratelli will be fully licensed, offering Italian cocktails, beers and wines. Renee is particularly excited about the frozen coffee machine, which she describes as making something halfway between a semifreddo and a creamy coffee slushie. “We will serve it with crushed pistachios on top, and also use it to make a frozen Espresso Martini,” she says.
Fratelli Deli, (1/117 Prospect Road, Prospect), will open on October 23.