Hello I’m Grainne McGarvey and welcome to my column which spots local hidden gems from the world of beauty, health, fashion, tourism and hospitality. I will have my ear to the ground (quite literally) to keep you up to date about the new or interesting products and services from our neck of the woods. If you know one – get in touch on twitter @grainnemcgarvey or at www.pulseprni.com
G SPOTS! ENJOYS AN ITALIAN ADVENTURE
During the summer, G Spots! went on tour for Belfast Times, and last week I was still out and about, this time in Italy. Ok, well not actually in the country, but I did have an Italian culinary adventure thanks to the delicious food and drink on offer in Fratelli on Belfast’s Great Victoria Street.
Fratelli is Italian for brothers and the lovely team did make us feel like part of the family. The brothers behind the venture, Paul and Nicholas Hill, owners of the Galgorm Resort and Spa in Ballymena have promised to bring a slice of the Galgorm Fratelli experience to Belfast. Head chef, Johnny Glass, who hails from the award winning The Old Schoolhouse Inn, Comber has been working with the Italian team to blend new and exciting flavours and innovative dishes such as the delicious ‘Cicchetti’ (Italian tapas) with a collection of firm family favourites.
However with well-known Italian eateries such as Pizza Express, Little Wing and Coppi all in the city centre and vying for our custom, I wondered if it would it be able to live up to the proposed billing?
Purely in the interest of research ahem, I thought the best thing was to check it out on your behalf. I love Italian food so knew I would probably be impressed anyway, but I can honestly say it was one of the most delicious selections of food I’ve had in a while. Bursting with colour, flavour and taste, it was a sensory explosion. My favourite cicchettis included, Chicken, Chorizo and Tomato Stew, Boar Balls, and Meatballs with Mozzarella, but if I’m honest, the pizzas were tasty, but nothing out of the ordinary. Although Italian food is carbtastic, there is always room for dessert, especially if they are mini and include the likes of Tiramisu, Chocolate & Raspberry Cup and Sicilian Lemon Sponge – all washed down with a few glasses of prosecco.
The new restaurant is situated where the Malt Room used to be and previously Bourbon – and although these venues didn’t last the distance, I have a good vibe about Fratelli. In my book, what I look for in an restaurant is good food, good service and a welcoming environment and after my first Fratelli experience I can say that the team have nailed all three – Bellissimo!