It's been 30-odd years, but Melbourne's Brunetti Caffe has moved home to Lygon Street.
So Brunetti has moved home. What does this mean? Well, it means that it has moved house from Faraday Street in Carlton to the Lygon Street centre, where Borders once used to stand. Before Borders, however, Brunetti started its journey in this exact same location in 1974. With five other locations now across Melbourne, Brunetti is showing no sign of wavering.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon, to say the place is filled to the brim would be an understatement. People are searching left and right for a table and the staff are working in overdrive. This, surprisingly, isn't helped by the four or five sections to the venue. A word to the wise, food comes to your table and drinks are collected from the bar. The space is no doubt beautiful. The drinks counter in the centre is a large round bar with hanging lights, while wine barrels cut and hung on the wall make for interesting dining companions.
When it comes to the food, you can rest assured all the regulars are there in the cake department. Walls of glass cabinets filled with sweet treats will make you want to skip lunch and head straight to dessert. Lemon tarts, Opera slice, ricotta cannolis, oh my. Good luck choosing just one indulgence.
What is a little different is the vast a la carte menu. For something simple you can go for the torchietti alla napoletana with tomato, basil and extra virgin olive oil ($19.50) or for a classic try the linguini alle vongole with clams, white wine and garlic. Pizzas range from traditional with the Margherita (tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil and oregano, $17.40) to the fried with the Di Matteo (salami, broccoli, ricotta and chilli, $20).
If you're sticking to the savoury options, we suggest heading to the al la carte menu, rather than the readymade meals, as you are bound to get a fresher, more flavoursome meal if it's being make to order. We also recommend heading in on a quieter night. The sheer size of the place (400 seater) runs the risk of losing that Brunetti charm when it is packed out.