Doubletree by Hilton Hotel
What a difference one letter can make.
Fratello, which means ‘brother’, is a group of three Italian restaurants housed within hotels managed by Newcastle-based Cairn Group. Fratelli, which means ‘brothers’, is also one of three restaurants, but in this case the brothers are from Sardinia: Fabrizio Saba and his brother-in-law Paul Bernardelli, who have been running Sabatini, Prima and Fratelli for many years.
If I were Signori Saba and Bernardelli, I’d have been pretty upset when Fratello’s opened at the airport, right on Fratelli’s doorstep. After all, they’d already successfully built up their popular Ponteland Italian and the locals seem to love it. Fratelli won Best Family Restaurant in the Secret Diner Restaurant Awards last year – they have a table magician at Sunday lunch.
To have another Italian brother infiltrate their catchment area ought to have kickstarted a new Godfather movie. But aside from the name, they’re as different as chalk and cheese, or, in this case, cheap catering mozzarella and spicy soft Pecorino. One calls itself an Italian restaurant; the other actually is one.