Fratelli Paradiso

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I love Fratelli Paradiso, its got good rustic Italian food, a wine list with many fine (and interesting) Italian varietals and a little charm about the place with chalkboard menus and a chilled Potts Point vibe. Here I am for dinner on Saturday….

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A staple of Fratelli is their freshly baked rustic bread rolls in a basket. It is heaven when dipped in their imported extra virgin olive oil. If you close eyes you can almost imagine being in a cafe down a side street in Florence. (oh and if the mood suits do sprinkle some of the fresh sea salt on the oil).

Americano (antica formula, campari, soda)

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A perfect way to start the evening. The bitter sweet and strong bite of the Antica and Campari grip every taste bud with firm embrace while the refreshing wash of the soda water flows through to refresh oneself on this beautiful afternoon. Couldn’t think of a better to start dinner.

Then the entree arrives…

Crudo of swordfish with squid ink and mizuna

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The silky smooth succulent swordfish is sweet and a delight to have on this own. However it is paired well with the gentle tang of the pickled onion, the peppery bite of the mizuna and the burst of the salty sea flavour of the squid ink, which accentuates the swordfish’s natural flavours.

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Pacina ‘Il Secondo’ Sangiovese from Toscana (2012)

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This wine is wonderful and perfect for the next course. The wine is strong and smoky on the nose with full fruit flavours of the blackberries and cherries flowing through on the palate with gentle hints of herbs but overall the dominance of the fruit is the star and the little flavour hints tend to be lost, while some good acidity provides balance to the intense fruit flavours in this wine.

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The main course arrives….

Vitello (veal cutlet, peppers, mint)

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The burst of tangy and intense heat from the peppers with the smoky overlay from the pan provides for a strong side dish. The veal cutlet itself is beautiful with the smoke from the wrath of the pan leaving a discernible impact while the caramelisation of the skin and the salt which gels together to make the perfect the crust defines the dish. The succulent juices stay within the meat to provide the full flavour of the veal on every bite.

It’s probably one of the best veal cutlets I have had in a while… in fact it would be up there with the one I had on my recent Qantas flight back from London. (If you want to see a review of that veal cutlet make sure you check it out here).

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For dessert I decide to change wine pairing…

Occhipinti ‘SP68’ (Nero d’Avola, Frappato) from Sicilia (2013)

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This interesting wine has an electric mix of rich dark fruits sweet raspberry flavours. The earthiness and spice immediately waft from the bottle and follow through on the palate to join the fruit flavours while some wonderful silky tannins support a velvety smooth finish. The spice and underlying raspberry notes complement the Tiramisu (below) wonderfully – a real treat!

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Dessert is the simple but wonderful…

Tiramisu

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The fluffy spongy savoiardi biscuits are paired with the rich mascarpone cream which wallow in the rich bitter espresso sauce. Its a simple light with the strength of the espresso cutting through the richness of the cream. The light dusting of cocoa on top provides an additional hit of flavour to round off the evening.

Overall such an enjoyable evening, attentive staff (good service), wonderful food, chilled atmosphere and a charm about this place which takes you back to Italy. (If you want some background on Fratelli Paradiso, check out my post from last year – here)