It’s comforting to know you may now be closer to a Fratelli Fresh than you were before. The Fratelli team has opened a seventh restaurant, Fratelli Parlamento, on Macquarie Street in the CBD near (you guessed it) Parliament House. Fratelli’s various restaurants, which includes Café Nice at Circular Quay, have always been great for either a quick bowl of meatballs or a lingering date over a slice of torta banoffee.

Fratelli Parlamento could be the sultriest incarnation yet. Walk down a set of steep stairs through the waiting area and into a space with plush, crimson carpet, jade leather benches and a wall of exposed brick. “It was a Japanese bar [Nippon Club] for 40 years,” says owner Barry McDonald. “We wanted to keep it clubby.”

The menu will be familiar to frequenters of other Café Sopra venues; the “when it ain’t broke” philosophy is clearly in place here. Creativity comes from the oft-changing specials board. “The chefs own the specials board. Their only brief is to keep it ‘fresh and Italian’,” says McDonald. Try crisp polenta with a ragu of mushrooms and gorgonzola, Sopra’s famous stuffed zucchini flowers, a plate of pate with cornichons or a bowl of pasta. A wood-fired oven burns in one corner of the open kitchen, churning out hot pizza.

Come here for lunch and it’s quite possible you’ll overhear neighbouring tables brokering deals or planning political campaigns. Best to keep your eyes on your linguine and your ears open.

Fratelli Parlamento
229–231 Macquarie Street, Sydney
(02) 9216 5000

Mon to Fri 12pm–3pm, 6pm–10pm
Mon to Sat 6pm–10pm