Fratelli’s Italian & Seafood restaurant recently opened in Middletown, offering house-made pasta in a casual dining setting. General manager Hathan Clark recently spoke with The News-Post about Fratelli’s and what customers can experience there.
The original location is in Hampstead. What made the owners expand to Middletown?
The reason we looked at Middletown was because we’ve had a lot of success at our Hampstead location. Hampstead really has a small-town community feel to it, everybody knows everybody, and we were looking for a similar location. Middletown felt really comfortable for us. It kind of felt a lot like Hampstead — a lot like home.
Describe the atmosphere of the restaurant.
We definitely have a relaxed atmosphere where anybody can come in and dine. They can celebrate anniversaries or any occasion here. We’ve had proposals here before, we had a 100-year-old’s birthday party, weddings and rehearsal dinners to just a night out on a random Monday or Tuesday to grab a bite to eat. We have a wide range of prices and we aim for a very polished dining experience. It’s a little bit of an upscale dining experience, but it’s not fine dining by any means. We want people to come in here in casual dress and feel like they can come in and relax and have a good meal.
You mentioned celebrations, so you can accommodate private parties?
We do. We have a party room in the back of the restaurant that can accommodate up to about 70 people.
What are some of the popular items on the menu?
All of our pasta we make from scratch, so we have homemade linguine, fettuccine, penne, spaghetti and angel hair all made on our pasta machine. It’s in the dining room, so if guests come in at lunchtime they can see our chefs preparing the pasta in the dining room. Some of the classic Italian dishes on the menu include homemade lasagna and baked penne. We do have a big emphasis on seafood as well. We’re very well-known for our crabcakes. We have 10-ounce crabcakes with a generous portion of jumbo lump crab in there with very little filler. We do nightly specials, and get in different fresh fish from halibut to fresh Chesapeake rockfish to salmon, mahi-mahi and other kinds of fish that folks can find on the menu.
Do you have a full-service bar?
We do. We have a full bar and tables available in the bar for open seating as well as 12 seats at the bar top. We have signature cocktails, an extensive wine list and craft beers on tap and bottled. One of the favorite [drinks] is a house-made sangria.
What can customers experience when they come to Fratelli’s?
We hope that they just have a good time, to relax and to leave whatever is going on in their lives at the door so they can enjoy some time with their family. Fratelli in Italian means brother so there really is a focus on family in the restaurant. It’s a family-owned restaurant, so there’s a big focus on our guest enjoying time with their families and being entertained by ours.