We recently celebrated Phill’s birthday at a fab Italian restaurant in Belfast city centre. Fratelli Belfast has been about for over a year and had just launched it’s new menu so I booked a table and looked forward to an Italian feast. I adore Italian food and regularly make pasta dishes at home, but rarely do I actually dine at Italian restaurants.
Once we were seated at our table, we were told the specials on that evening and given a lightly spiced tuna appetiser and bread sticks. As we perused the menu, we nibbled away. For starters we ordered four of the Italian cicchetti’s to share (the Italian version of tapas). We could have happily chosen any of the cicchetti’s but in the end we decided to go for the saffron, pea and herb arancini, chilli chicken wings with gorgonzola mayonnaise, crispy fried mushroom in garlic mayonnaise and baked meatballs in a tomato sauce with melted mozzarella.
The cicchetti’s were brought out really quickly and we happily scoffed the whole lot. Our joint favourite was the baked meatballs – these were so tender and the sauce and mozzarella were just delicious.
Our mains were a delight. We both opted for pasta dishes – Phill chose the spiced Italian sausage linguini and I got the braised beef fusilli. Both were very sizable and packed full of meat. Phill’s dish was a mix of Italian salami and chorizo with tomato and scallions in a light cream sauce. My beef was cooked to perfection and was served in its own juices with brocolli and kale.
We also ordered a cheeky cheesey garlic bread which was served in foil and was absolutely divine! However, our eyes were bigger than our bellies and we couldn’t finish it.
After waiting for our dinner to digest, we eventually turned our minds to dessert. The options were mini desserts and all of them sounded moreish. Between the two of us we choose the buttermik and pistachio panna cotta, a dark rum and chocolate ganache dessert, white chocolate cheesecake with berries on top, and an amaretto tiramisu. Phill adored the very rich ganache whilst I liked the tiramisu the best as it was suitably boozy! Both of us agree that we would have preferred to have had just one regular sized dessert to scoff on our own but it seems to be the trend these days to offer mini desserts.
We left Fratelli’s feeling very full and ready for an early night! We ate so well and we couldn’t fault the friendly and fast service. Thank you to Fratelli Belfast for inviting us to sample the new menu.