Ever wondered what gastronomic heaven is like? Diners will find out when Melbourne’s first Fratelli Fresh restaurant and The Cut Steakhouse open on Friday, 15 July over two spectacular heritage-featured floors at The Alfred.
From the alfresco laneway dining façade at 7 Alfred Place, a grand foyer, spectacular dry aging room and ground floor Fratelli Fresh, to the dramatic staircase that leads guests to The Cut’s classic New York steakhouse inspired space and adjoining bar, the two-storey heritage building is as rich in culinary credentials as it is in stylish spaces for public dining or private hire.
Diners can enjoy the casual charm and good value for which Fratelli is famed from a light-filled, laid-back dining room with signature red and white décor. The menu boasts over 25 dishes for under $20 and a six-course menu for $55.
Seated at the horse shoe-shaped, marble-topped pizza counter guests can watch 48-hour, natural fermented, hand stretched, thin-crust pizzas topped with premium ingredients pulled from the warm glow of the wood-fired oven.
The produce-driven opening menu spans everything from antipasti, to pasta and risotto, and wood-grilled premium meats and fish, including T Bone Florentina that is dry-aged on site and carved off the bone. The chef’s signature “Abbacchio alla Romana”, Roman-style lamb on the bone with parmesan crust, is the perfect dish for two to share. Desserts include Fratelli’s memorable tiramisu, Venetian doughnuts, Sicilian cannoli and a selection of house-churned gelato.
Guests can ease their way into dinner at Fratelli Bar during aperitivo hour from 3pm-6pm, when $5 wine, beer and spirits are on offer, alongside $10 Spritzers and Negroni on tap.
From the foyer, a grand staircase leads to a first-floor vestibule where guests can enjoy a casual drink. From here, enter The Cut and be transported to an elegant New York-style steakhouse with parquetry and black and white marble tiled floors; rich, deep-green, leather-upholstered, custom-made banquettes and chairs and luxurious curtains.
The menu excels in char as much as the restaurant does in charm. There are 10 cuts of beef from five top-tier farms, including boutique Victorian producer Seven Creeks Wagyu that supplies The Cut exclusively with premium scotch fillet and flank steak.
Hand-selected cuts from 36-month grass-fed cattle from Cape Grim in Tasmania, 270-day grain-fed Black Market Rangers beef, 150-day grain-fed John Dee scotch fillet, and full-blood wagyu from Robbins Island, Tasmania complete a portfolio of Australia’s beefiest pleasures.
The dry ageing room, which is viewable from street-level windows and an all-glass internal wall, is arguably one of the largest and most impressive in Melbourne, supplying the kitchen with beef that has been dry aged for up to 200 days.
Steaks can be paired with one of nine sauces and condiments and 10 different sides, including buttermilk onion rings, hand-cut chips, roasted mushrooms and slow-roasted leeks. The menu also features Dorper lamb, Great Ocean free-range duck and oysters from boutique producers, including limited-release Hidden Cove oysters from Tasmania.
An adjoining bar called The Library is just the place to relax with one of The Cut’s quintessential cocktails. Guests can also globe-trot the impressive 300-strong wine list that includes natural produced local Victorian wines; a collection of over 80 of the world’s finest whiskies, including those from Australia and Tasmania; and local and international craft and bottled beers.
Urban Purveyor Group Chief Executive Thomas Pash said the restaurants at The Alfred perfectly complemented each other.
“Having a premium casual restaurant like The Cut and a full-service casual restaurant like Fratelli operating cheek by jowl means there is something for every occasion and potential for diners to explore both options,” Mr Pash said. “We hope our Sydney stalwarts will be every bit as successful in Melbourne as we strengthen our portfolio in the city.”
Urban Purveyor Group Culinary Director Martin Heierling said both menus were produce driven and provenance inspired.
“We’re working with best-in-class, boutique producers and the beef, especially, is the finest Australia has to offer,” Mr Heierling said. “Ageing premium beef in our own ageing room is immensely satisfying, both for our culinary team and also our customers who will find our dry-aged collection difficult to beat.”
The Alfred is the ultimate events space and can be hired in its entirety with capacity for 800 guests, cocktail style. The ground floor, including laneway, caters to 400 guests, while the first floor can host up to 350 guests. For smaller events, Fratelli Fresh caters to 80 customers banquet style or 160 cocktail style, plus 40 in the Fratelli Bar. The Cut can hold a cocktail event of up to 200 guests, or 120 banquet style. For something more intimate, The Library bar caters to cocktail soirees of up to 60.