Fratelli Deli is a family affair, helmed by husband-and-wife duo Johnny and Renee Chaptini, alongside their cousin Nissrine Daher and her partner Paul Skounos. It’s not the Chaptinis first restaurant rodeo; they also run Burger Incredible – a US-inspired joint in Unley (where chef Justin James eats when he’s not behind the pans at Restaurant Botanic). Their second venue is adding another dose of Americana to Adelaide, inspired by trips to New Jersey.
“We just really liked the way they did sandwiches in New Jersey … We found that not many [delis] in South Australia did them like that,” Renee tells Broadsheet. “With normal Italian sandwiches, they’re quite simple, they’re a little bit lighter, whereas Italian-American sandwiches are real hearty – they’re American-sized servings. We’ve really tried to replicate those hero rolls.”
It’s something they think will help them stand out in Adelaide’s crowded sanga scene, where Renee says existing delis tend to have smaller, stricter sandwich menus.
“Sandwiches are our bread and butter,” she puns. “On Prospect Road not a lot of people are just doing sandwiches. We’ve got [heaps] of sandwiches and everything is made fresh to order, so you can substitute or add things and kind of create your own sandwich, which I think is really cool.”
Over their soft-launch week – which saw people from the Prospect community as well as the wider suburbs flock to the sun-soaked deli – the big menu winner was the hot honey sandwich on Schinella’s ciabatta with prosciutto, crushed pistachio and That’s Amore stracciatella from Melbourne, drizzled in sweet, spicy honey. The chicken vodka hero, and the pastrami and Cubano toasted sandwiches also did well.
Sides include the tantalising “pasta wedge” (pasta set with olives and mozzarella then cubed, crumbed, fried and served with a Napoletana sauce), while the cocktail menu stars a frozen Espresso Martini and a limoncello spritz that proved a hit over Fratelli’s first weekend.
Fratelli Italian Deli*
1/117 Prospect Road, Prospect
(08) 8265 7505
Mon to Fri 7am–4.30pm
Sat & Sun 8am–4pm