Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Melbourne's New Cafe Look On An Old Favourite

There are some things that Italians just do better. Pizza, cars and, let's face it, attractive men, all immediately spring to mind. But there's also that inexplicable Italian style, that indescribable euro chic that no Australian (no matter how many Armani shoes you buy) could ever master. But chin up my friends because there is a new way to get your Italian on...simply visit the ultimate Italian Stallion of cafes, Brunetti 2.0.

A cafe that needs no introduction, this Melbourne institution has had a renowned presence on Lygon Street for so many Generations, churning out more cappuccinos and cannoli in one day than an Italian nonna has made hot bowls of pasta in her life. And man do nonnas make a lot of pasta! Back in its old location (where Boarders once lived-may it's soul rest in peace), this brand spanking new space holds up to 400 people. It has a large collection of outdoor seating and is so bright and bustling you may need to invest in some kind of protective eyewear before entering. Shiny glass cabinets are packed full of Italian treats, including custard filled bombaloni, cannoli, macaroons and handmade chocolates, all of which temp and tease. There's a bakery for your bready needs, a gelateria for your glucose guilt, stacks with sandwiches and a deli should you wish to get your italian on at home. 

The place is massive. It's like you've stepped into some kind of endless Willi Wonka factory...without the creepy guy in a purple suit. Situated at the back of the cafe is the mother of all pizza ovens which delivers fresh, simple  pizzas straight to your table. If all this wasn't enough to tempt you, there's the immaculate marbled coffee bar that's placed centre stage in the middle of the cafe. Manned by baristas in bow ties, these three monster machines get the workout of a lifetime with hoards of expectant customers wanting their coffee "justa how mamma used to make!" Given that I don't usually dig European coffee (it usually tastes bitter, over-roasted and, well, just a bit shit really), I was actually pleasantly surprised by my latte, which deserves none of the prior criticisms. If your more chocolate inclined then I highly recommend you taste test the famous Brunetti Italian hot chocolate. Sure, one of these decadent bad boys will probably send you into hypoglycaemic shock, but hey...when in Rome, right? Or perhaps more appropriately, 'when in a Lygon Street cafe wishing you were actually in Rome and ridding yourself of these thoughts with a fourth danish'.

Filled with families, friends, couples and yes, good looking Italian baristas (ladies, get around it), the new Brunetti has certainly made a smooth transition into it's new skin. So make like an Italian, embrace the Euro style and join the bunga bunga party! We are talking about 'La Dolce Vita', after all.

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