For a long time, Fratelli Fresh on Bridge Street served crowds looking for an easy go-to Italian eatery in the northern end of the CBD. Meanwhile, around the corner in the Grosvenor Place precinct was upscale Italian restaurant Rosetta. Both were owned by what was then known as the Rockpool Dining Group, and both have remained closed since Sydney’s first lockdown last March.
Now, Pacific Concepts (one of the two hospitality groups born from the split of Rockpool Dining Group) has married the two venues, moving Fratelli Fresh into Rosetta’s former haunt in Grosvenor Place, where it will continue Rosetta’s more luxe approach to dining.
“We were committed to retaining an Italian restaurant at the northern end of the CBD, and Fratelli Fresh, a 17-year-old Sydney institution with a wider customer demographic and broader casual offering than Rosetta, was determined to be our core Italian brand in Sydney moving forward,” Pacific Concepts CEO Thomas Pash tells Broadsheet.
This zhooshed-up version of Fratelli Fresh caters largely to a corporate crowd. It features touches of gold and marble throughout, mixed in with splashes of Fratelli’s signature red in its leather banquettes and tiled communal tables. Highlighting the beauty of the Harry Seidler-designed building, the 250-seater makes the most of the strikingly curved floor-to-ceiling window that runs the length of the main dining room, offering plenty of seating to take in the view. Al fresco dining on the leafy outdoor terrace is also an option.
“We’ve incorporated slightly elevated interior decor while taking inspiration from Fratelli family to incorporate signature elements into the overall restaurant and menu design,” Pash says. “We’ve also taken inspiration from the city. The outdoor terrace is a hidden oasis that picks up city views, and we want our guests to feel that they are part of the city, yet privately apart from it, when they meet there for a drink or to dine outdoors.”
The Fratelli Fresh DNA is also evident throughout the menu, which features signature favourites such as tempura zucchini flowers, calamari fritti, rigatoni with lamb ragu, and prawn linguine.
There’s a handful of pizzas available, but the menu has also made room for upmarket antipasti dishes such as tuna tartare and gratinated scallops, plus larger plates including Cape Grim bistecca alla Fiorentina with herb butter, and whole grilled baby snapper served with cherry tomato, olives and capers.
Vino is aplenty, with the wine list offering a nice mix of Australian and Italian options. But it’d be remiss not to order a classic Italian cocktail at an Italian restaurant. There’s the Negroni; an Italian Sour with Aperol, grapefruit aquafaba and lemon; and the Sicilian Margarita, made with tequila, limoncello, agave and rosemary. A range of seasonal spritzes, such as the Grosvenor Spritz with Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz gin, prosecco and tonic, go down equally well.