As a big fan of Fratelli Fresh I was eager to get over to the Crows Nest restaurant and check it out! I decided on lunch rather than dinner, and headed over there to review the restaurant on a quiet Monday. I prefer to do my reviews alone, rather than take someone with me and I'm never self-conscious about that. I was impressed with the decor and size of Fratelli Fresh Crows Nest, it's a lovely open space, with a bar in the middle and open kitchen at the back of the restaurant where you can observe the busy chefs preparing meals. I was impressed with the murals on the wall and the decor.
The restaurant offers booths, tables and some intimate tables for two. The smaller tables looked quite cramped so I'd imagine if you were having a quiet dinner for two, you might prefer sitting not so close to other diners. Then again, I guess the idea is to have that community dining experience that the Italians are famous for.
Once I was settled in my booth by the friendly and efficient staff it was time to begin the feast! First up was the zucchini flowers, I only ordered one and after my first bite I could have just had a plate of those. Mind you, I hadn't sampled what else was in store by this time.
The zucchini flower was the best! Congratulations Fratelli Fresh Crows Nest you have the Deb Carr award for best zucchini flower ever! The flower had lashings of soft, fresh parmesan cheese sprinkled across a delicate little flower. You have probably had zucchini flowers yourself that had too much thick batter and a little greasy? Not these ones! This zucchini flower was very lightly battered with a combination of five Italian cheeses and the bright orange flower made it also visually appealing. The stalk was crisp, fresh and dainty!
A light Pinot Grigio was also in order!
The "Star Attraction" and Chef Special was a beautiful squid ink ravioli stuffed with creme fraiche and smoked trout and fresh peas. The dish looked amazing sitting in the light and delicate tomato sauce. An exquisite combination of texture and flavours. I managed to eat the whole plate of this delicious meal, it truly gave the zucchini flower a run for its money!
Eat your brussel sprouts! Does anyone reading this have memories of their parent or carer demanding this torture? Well I certainly do! However when Steph explained to me about one of the signature dishes at Fratelli Fresh Crows Nest was based on brussel sprouts, I decided to give it a go! Despite the fact of having brussel sprouts forced upon me as a child, and the subsequent fear of the green little monsters, this dish did sound amazing! All I can say is Bravo to Chef for turning the humble brussel sprout into a gourmet extravaganza! The dish is a combination of sauteed crispy brussel sprouts, fried pancetta, touch of chilli and balsamic. The flavours blend together perfectly. No more brussel sprout fear for me after this.
I also ordered the Caprese Salad, an Italian classic. This salad had juicy vine ripened tomatoes, soft buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil and a drizzle of Balsamic and olive oil.
The dessert menu looked fantastic, choices are tiramisu, vanilla bean panna cotta, Fratelli Fresh signature banoffee torta, Fratelli Rocher cannoli, affogato (choice with Frangelica) or Gelato. I couldn't fit a substantial dessert in so I opted for one scoop of raspberry and lemon sorbet. This was a good choice! It was very cleansing and I was delighted to discover tiny pieces of lemon within the sorbet. A fabulous way to finish off a beautiful lunch.
I often get asked about how I manage my weight with all these reviews and events. The answer is I ask the Chef to prepare me a smaller proportion and I am rarely able to eat the whole dish, so often I'll bring what is left home (so I don't waste it). I've always been the person who stops eating when she is full, no matter how delicious the food is.
My visit to the restaurant was at lunch time on on a Monday, so it wasn't that busy. I certainly enjoyed dining at Fratelli Fresh Crows Nest and I'm still licking my lips over the Zucchini Flower!
118 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest . 2065
10 minutes easy walk from St Leonards Station.
02) 8099 7070
Deb dined as a guest of Fratelli Fresh Crows Nest, this does not influence her decision on what to write on this blog. Please read Sydney Chic's full DISCLAIMER here.