The recipe for success

Paul Bernardelli and Fabrizio Saba.
Paul Bernardelli and Fabrizio Saba.

A RESTAURANT group is aiming to continue making people’s tastebuds tingle as its owners celebrate a landmark anniversary.

Paul Bernardelli and Fabrizio Saba first began working together 20 years ago when both were employed at the former Da Vinci’s restaurant at Newcastle Quayside.

Since then the duo, who are now also brothers-in-law, have built up a small business empire and used their Italian roots to open authentic eateries including Fratelli in Ponteland.

Mr Bernardelli, 36, said: “I started working in the leisure industry straight from school when I was just 16 years old and have never really wanted to do anything else.

“Meeting Fabrizio, who was the manager at Da Vinci’s at the time, really inspired me to take the step into restaurant ownership and now thankfully here we are 20 years later with three family-run restaurants to our name.”

Sabatini, located on the Newcastle Quayside, was the first venue to open its doors in 1993 with Mr Saba taking the helm.

Prima, which is managed by Mr Bernardelli, launched five years later and Italian restaurant Fratelli, co-founded by both members of the partnership, opened at Bell Villas in 2007.

Mr Saba, 41, said: “Our business may be small compared to other leisure providers in the North East, but this has helped us ensure that high levels of service and good quality food have been successfully maintained across two decades, as they will be for many more years to come.”

To celebrate the anniversary, all three eateries recently launched new menus, giving diners the chance to share in the celebrations with a variety of traditional dishes and modern Italian/Sardinian-style cuisine.