An Italian Masterpiece –
Gourmet Italian Just What The Doctor Ordered.
Frati Gelato Café, an authentic and unequaled Italian masterpiece, takes root in Downtown Napa. Gourmet Gelato handmade daily, fresh Panini and daily specials, Italian espresso and Vino leave the masses asking “What’s not to love?”
This gem of an establishment was brought to Napa by Italian Doctor Anthony LuPriore and his brother-in-law Ron DeLay. Ron is a retired IBM executive who says “Anthony is the heart and soul of Frati and his creative culinary passion is reflected in our menu and style. We call him ‘Dr. Gelato’. I just do the trash and the cash and stay out of his way”.
Anthony’s road to “Gelato Master” began in Rhode Island where he was born. Surrounded by a world of food from a young age, he worked in a neighborhood butcher shop and learned the art of cooking from the world’s best cook, his Mother. While food played a major role in Anthony’s formative years, he was always intrigued by the world of science and uprooted himself at the age of 28 to move to a small city, Perugia, in Umbria, Italy to study medicine.
After completing his training and opening his own practice Anthony yearned for the world of food again. Eventually he and some colleagues opened a restaurant in the Italian city of Perugia called Casa Lugol where he took on the role of executive chef. During the seven years running the restaurant, Anthony learned how to perfect all the local cuisine. However, after 25 years away from the States, Anthony longed to be closer to his family. Not wanting to leave the country he loved, Anthony began thinking of a way to take a piece of Italy with him.
Though he owned his own restaurant and ran a successful medical practice, it was a local gelato shop that inspired Anthony. He then applied to the only government accredited gelato school in Italy, Academia de Gelato. Anthony was one of the very few accepted into the school gaining points for his past culinary experience, fluency in Italian, and his 12 years as a local physician. Soon after he began work at the Academia de Gelato, it was clear he had found his
Under the supervision of Luca Caveziel, the man responsible for perfecting the gelato process in the late 1960’s, Anthony studied the intricacies of gelato. He discovered that science was responsible for creating the incredibly smooth texture and deeply rich flavors of Gelato. After six months of complicated equations he had learned the delicate art of recipe balancing and graduated with the elite title of “Gelato Master.” With these skills in hand, Anthony moved away from the rolling hills of Tuscany to the festive downtown of Napa to introduce his expertise in Italian gelato.
The difficulty in making Italian Gelato in the U.S. is in guaranteeing that it will be made as authentic as if it were being made in Italy. Being true to the scientific process and fresh ingredients, Anthony has meticulously sought after suppliers who would ship him products from specific regions in Italy, ensuring the genuine flavor of ingredients such as pistachios and hazelnuts. His vanilla comes from two sources, Madagascar and Tahiti, his chocolate from Belgium, and the finest local fresh fruit. Even the machines that churn the gelato were special ordered and shipped over from Italy.
Anthony has made over 300 flavors since the doors opened this past September. His business partner and brother-in-law Ron says, “Anthony smiles a lot when he’s making gelato.”
Ron’s broad business experience, love for food and people, and priority for customer service has provided for a true partnership. And to keep their customers happy they have a notification list where you can sign up to be informed which flavors have been made and what the daily lunch special is. With fresh gelato being put out every day you will almost never see the same combination of flavors in the case.
As tempting as it is, gelato isn’t the only reason to stop in. Don’t forget to sample the rest of their menu which is just as authentically Italian not to mention delectable. There are a dozen Panini’s each one as good as the next. Two continual favorites are the Brinata based on the popular flavors of Northern Italian Brie ( sheep’s milk), arugula and basil pesto, and the Calabrese with its spicy Italian salami, arugula , provolone and sundried tomato pesto. Their side salads are distinctive and scrumptious as well. These masterpieces vary from a delicious mix of corn, gorgonzola cheese and cabbage to sun dried tomato, chickpea and scallions, or even gourmet Italian olives. They also offer a daily special which usually has roots in specific regions of Italy. For example one day it may be a butternut squash ravioli with a light béchamel sauce served on a bed of spinach , the next it might be the ultimate Italian comfort food, Pasta e Fagioli. Of course all of these dishes are imbued with special spices and copious amounts of TLC. As you might expect, even their hearty soups are made from scratch.
Frati Gelato fits into the unique vibe on the Riverfront in downtown Napa with it’s variety of excellent restaurants and quality food. Frati Gelato is the perfect quick stop for a light meal, a treat after a meal or event or just a simple glass of wine. If you can’t make up your mind on what to order just ask “the doctor “ what he prescribes!
Frati Gelato is a low-fat, low-cholesterol, & low-sodium delicacy and our Frati Sorbetto is lactose- free, fat-free & has less than 100 calories. Frati Gelato is a true jewel of the Mediterranean diet.
670 Main Street | 707-265-0265 | fratigelatocafe.com | Sun. – Thurs. 10am – 9pm | Fri. – Sat. 10am – 10pm