One Bellini, two Bellini, three Bellini, four… and a birthday dinner with Minger at Fratelli Paradiso.
Fratelli Paradiso has long been a favourite of mine. Nestled in the heart of Potts Point, it’s and institution. Who needs a kitchen in the tiny apartments nearby when you could eat here every night?
It’s so Melbourne. No surprise really when the Fratelli (‘brothers’) Enrico and Giovanni Paradiso actually moved from Melbourne to open their Potts Point eatery in 2001.
Packed full of interesting looking people – beautiful people with those heavy black framed glasses that I’m not sure they even need for reading, some very fashionable oldies and locals, we’re seated at one of the high marble bars in the bakery-come-dining area on the right (the main dining area is on the left). We love the black tiled white grout walls, dimly lit light bulb lighting and the fact that we’re right next to one of the ovens.
Written in Italian in giant calk letters on the wall, our waiter recites the menu to us – his gorgeous Italian accent and glimpse of charm makes up for his otherwise very disinterested attitude. It’s why we love it, right? He lost us after something with “Myonez”… (Mayonaise).
To start we share the ocean trout carpaccio with air dried grapes, fennel seeds and sour cream. *note-to-self, find a reason to make carpaccio and use fennel seeds. Delicious.
We’re trying to decipher what’s slow cooking in the industrial oven in the corner. I think it’s macadamia nuts but Minger isn’t convince.
We’re sharing the homemade potato gnocchi with prawns and cherry tomatoes and the grilled mulloway with wilted chard for mains. I love that both dishes are brought already shared between two plates for us. The gnocchi is beautiful, soft potato pillows with bites of prawn and lightly kissed with sweet cherry tomato, so simple, so tasty. The skin on the grilled mulloway is meaty and crispy, like crackling and the flesh is soft and juicy. Perfect with the earthy bitey chard and fresh lemon. There’s also a side of snow peas dusted with parmesan.
They’ve turned the lights down even lower so I can hardly see my food, let alone take photos of it (I’ve really got to get over my detest for iPhone flash photography… it always makes food look so un-appealing I think).
Just before dessert arrives a chef comes to turn the oven next to us off. We ask what’s been cooking and occupying our interest for the last few hours – it’s grapes – the air dried grapes we enjoyed on our ocean trout carpaccio. He pulls the hot tray out and lets us try one. They’ve been cooking at 80’c for 3-hours and taste like a super sweet juicy sultana.
I turned down dessert at lunch so I’m certainly not turning it down at dinner, it is my birthday after all. Our waiter pretty much tells us that it’s the Tiramisu we must order. It’s probably one of the last desserts I’d choose to order but we don’t argue, if Tiramisu anywhere is going to turn me, it’s going to be here. My best friend who’s just moved across the ocean to somewhere that’s probably experiencing better weather than us right now (London), loves Tiramisu. I miss her.
As expected, it’s a lovely Tiramisu but we can’t get thought it all.
Minger wants to hit the Tool Shed to buy her Kirs Kringle presents – yes really. A stroll along the strip and shopping in Kings Cross makes for a glamorous end to a great birthday.
PS. If you got a penis shaped egg fryer or cork screw for Christmas, it wasn’t from me!
Fratelli Paradiso – 12-16 Challis Avenue, Potts Point NSW 2011 – 02 9357 1744