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11° & CLOUDY ON FRIDAY 17 AUGUST IN MELBOURNE
By Tom Clift
February 01, 2016
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Ciuccio Cafe

Natural wines, slow-cooked meats and a Big Ass Breakfast.
By Tom Clift
February 01, 2016
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BOOK A TABLE

Gertrude Street has gone and got itself a brand new cafe and wine store, courtesy of the new owners at Casa Ciuccio. The two storey Mediterranean joint changed hands last June, undergoing renovations before reopening both the original restaurant and unveiling the new space next door in time for the New Year. Looking for a bit of vino or a big morning feed? Or both? This might be just what you're after.

Open seven days a week, the all-day breakfast menu at Ciuccio Cafe includes crumpets with honey, berries, banana and ricotta, a goats' cheese, leek and hazelnut omelette with kale puree, and the fittingly named Big Ass Breakfast, which consists of eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, bean ragu and slow-roasted sumac tomatoes. Meanwhile, your lunch options include coal pit-roasted pork on brioche, a ham and cheese croquette salad, or some sandwiches and salads, which can be eaten in-house or on the run.

The new cafe also shares a space with a wine store — making it that much easier to enjoy some hair of the dog. With more than 100 different organic, biodynamic and natural wines in stock, you're sure to find something to your liking. "Customers can pick a bottle from the wine store and, for a small corkage, sit and enjoy their drink while nibbling on dinner dishes from Casa Ciuccio Restaurant," said the venue's new co-owner Fabio Candolo. "We are also planning to hold regular wine tastings in the coming weeks."

Candolo and co-owner Carrie Bartonek have also made a few tweaks to the restaurant menu, with a focus on charcuterie boards, fresh seafood and slow-cooked meats. "Our menu is designed to be shared," said Candolo. "Eating is a social experience and we want our customers to enjoy a little of everything."

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