Our meal at Fratelli Italian was complimentary. We paid for our drinks.
Fratelli was right up there on my 2020 Milton Keynes hitlist. Dan and I have wanted to go for ages, but never quite got round to it. So I was incredibly grateful when Mario from Fratelli got in touch and asked us if we wanted to pay them a visit, giving us a very good excuse to block out some time and go. You don’t need to ask me twice to eat food!
In this blog post, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on Fratelli and whether it lived up to the high expectations that had been set by the reviews I’ve read!
Fratelli is an award-winning family-owned restaurant, managed by three brothers – Carmelo, Mario and Antonino Di Giorgi. Fratelli actually means ‘brother’ in Italian!
Fuelled by the passion of simple Italian produce, prepared and cooked with passion, it’s easy to see why Fratelli is a favourite for many in Milton Keynes!
The restaurant was founded in 2007 in Ampthill. The original venue is still there but now features a Cicetti bar upstairs – which is now firmly on my list! The Woburn location has been there for around four years and is in an old historic pub, giving the atmosphere a unique touch and making it a very cosy date night destination.
We were immediately made to feel really welcome by both Mario and the other waiting staff. We sat in a cosy corner and perused the menu. The menu features most of what you would expect from an Italian restaurant. Fratelli’s menu is traditional, yet with a few modern twists. Mario told us that they source many of their ingredients such as flour, seasoning and mozzarella from Italy to ensure the finest quality and taste. Fresh ingredients like meat and vegetables are sourced from other local, family-owned businesses.
We were served a tomato, garlic and oregano pizza bread (£7.50) which was incredible. The dough was soft, light and airy and tasted so fresh. And it should – one of the chefs gets to the kitchen at 8am every morning so that he can start freshly preparing the dough for the day! The tomato sauce was rich and creamy, with the oregano injecting some freshness. I have no doubt that the pizzas on the menu would be equally delicious!
In addition to the main menu, Fratelli also have daily specials. We couldn’t resist the Truffle Arancini (£7.95). Neat fried balls of rice with a tender centre, packing a punch with truffle. So delicious!
We accompanied our meal with a glass of red wine recommended by our waiter. We had the Sasseo Primitivo from Puglia, which paired really well with our meal. It was medium to full-bodied with a sweet-spicy hint that danced on the palate. I really enjoyed this and wouldn’t have picked it for myself. It’s always very refreshing to go to a restaurant where the staff really know the menu!
We also tried the Calamari Fritti (£7.95) on recommendation from Mario. Deep-fried calamari in special ‘Fratelli’ batter served with garlic mayonnaise. The batter was light, crispy and salty. We loved the tenderness of the calamari – Mario said they tenderise it for 24 hours before it’s battered, so no rubbery squid here!
For main courses, Dan and I both went traditional with our choices. Dan opted for the Lasagna al Forno (£13.95) which was one of the best lasagnas he’s eaten. Slow-braised beef lasagna, layered with rich béchamel and tomato basil ragu, topped with parmesan cheese. It sounds beautifully simple, but execute it wrong or with low-quality ingredients, and it’s not going to taste good! The tomato ragu had so many layers of flavour to it and you could tell the pasta was freshly made.
On recommendation from our waiter, we also had some Zucchine Fritte (£6.50) Given the amount of food we were eating, they did feel a little unnecessary however they were tasty. Can you really go wrong with deep-fried courgette in a light, salty batter and garlic mayo?
I went for the Pappardelle Manzo (£13.50) which featured the most beautiful freshly made pasta cooked perfectly al dente, enveloped in ar ich slow-braised minced beef in a Chianti red wine tomato & basil sauce. Damn, this was good. The beef melted in the mouth and the sauce was just amazing with a multitude of layers. These were certainly the best pasta dishes we have eaten outside of Italy!
Our appetites had not budgeted for the amount of food we consumed! But everyone has a dessert stomach, so we shared a Torta Limone (£.6.50). You know the drill – Pure butter pastry case filled with zesty lemon curd. The curd had caramelised sugar on top, giving it a crispy addition and was topped with Panna Gelato which was smooth and creamy.
It was also drizzled with chocolate sauce which I must say confused my palette a little as there was already quite a lot of sweetness from the ice cream and pastry.
We had such a lovely meal at Fratelli. Everyone I have spoken to has raved about it, so I was thrilled that it lived up to expectations. The service, food and atmosphere made this a really special location. Mario and his brothers clearly keep the restaurants to very high standards to create the best experience possible.
It’s the perfect location for a date night (and it went straight in my MK Food Guide to the best romantic restaurants!) I can’t wait to pay the Ampthill location a visit as well as once again I’ve heard nothing but good things.
If you’re looking for a little slice of Italy in MK, I highly recommend Fratelli.
Have you visited Fratelli before?
To view menus and book a table for Fratelli in Ampthill or Woburn, visit www.fratelli-italian.co.uk.
If you like to eat, explore and want to discover new places to eat in Milton Keynes, come and connect with local food lovers in my Eat & Explore MK community group on Facebook!
Other posts you might like:
- Dinner at Twenty Out of Ten, Milton Keynes
- Best Independent Alternatives to Chain Restaurants in Milton Keynes
- Sunday Lunch at The Anchor, Aspley Guise