All In The Family

Saturday, April 01, 2006

It's raining ravioli and so much more at the new Fratelli Ravioli Shop and Café in Carroll Gardens, which opened on Jan. 5.

The latest addition to the Fratelli Ravioli franchise offers an array of soups, sandwiches and baked goods as well as Italian specialties such as fresh mozzarella, focaccia and "Grandma's soup" - a lentil-based soup with broccoli rabe and little meatballs. On top of the café treats, the shop sells Fratelli's 15 kinds of homemade ravioli and eight varieties of linguine, fettuccine and angel hair pasta. Currently, this is an indoor shop and café, but once the weather warms up, a 20-seat outdoor eating area will be added.

"It's the perfect spot for someone to pop in for lunch," says Fratelli spokesman John Rarick.

In 1978, Ray Vivola opened Fratelli Ravioli, a traditional Italian, homemade pasta shop at this very location. In 2001, his two sons, Larry and Christian opened a pasta factory in Red Hook to facilitate the production and demand of Fratelli's made-fresh-daily goods.

"[Fratelli Ravioli] is all about using the freshest and best ingredients you can find to create traditional Italian food," Rarick said.

As part of an ongoing vision, the Vivolas decided to convert the Carroll Gardens shop into a retail store and café akin to the three others they had previously opened in Connecticut and New Jersey. They had the product; all they needed was an owner.

Enter Ysabel Suarez. At 16, Suarez began working for Ray Vivola during the summer and never left. Today, 12 years later, she and her brother, Carlos (pictured at left), own and operate the Carroll Gardens franchise. Two more franchises are scheduled to open soon in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Says Rarick, "When you walk into Fratelli Ravioli Shop and Café, you become part of the family." Fratelli Ravioli Shop and Café, 347 Court St. at Union Street in Carroll Gardens, accepts American Express, MasterCard and Visa. Soups: $4; sandwiches: $6-$8.50; salads: $6-$7.50. Open daily to 10 pm. For more information, call (718) 625-7952.

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Fratelli Ravioli
31 Browne St.
Brooklyn, NY

Phone: (718)222-3094
Fax: (718)855-9690

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