Tucked within an industrial space on Plenty Road, Sartoria is having little trouble filling its many seats with bums, even though it's still early days. Sure, that's potentially an upshot of Preston's slow-blooming café scene, though on closer inspection, it's pretty clear these guys have found a winning formula, location aside.
The fit-out gives a big nod to the building's history, though stops short of over-the-top gimmickry. Instead, you'll spy considered touches, like dressmaking patterns sketched onto table tops, spools of thread lining the front window, and vintage sewing machine bases standing in for table legs. It adds the perfect dose of character, pulling in the edges of the sprawling space and warming up all those industrial elements.
An eye-catching orange La Marzocco pumps out full-bodied coffee from local roasters, Where's Marcel? ($3.30-3.80), with a rotating single origin, batch brew ($4.20) and cold drip ($5.50) also on offer. But when those weekend vibes are truly calling, you'll find it hard to pass over the selection of brunch cocktails — maybe a Bloody Mary with crispy prosciutto ($14) for that hangover, or a jug of Magic Indian Sangria ($28) shared between friends.
Meanwhile, the menu's one to get really excited about, boasting a slew of innovative dishes and contemporary riffs on the classics, all fittingly named and prettily plated. For The Seamstress, a waffle hash brown – arguably the most genius hybrid creation of the year – carries beetroot segments, a pair of poached eggs and dollops of goats' curd and pea puree ($18). Equally tasty is The Machinist: cubes of Asian-spiced pork hock teamed with crumbed black pudding, poached eggs, a house-made crostino and zingy romesco salsa ($19). Further into the day, lunch offerings include a handful of larger dishes and paninis, though the all-in New York Brunch ($19) is surely a good call any time of day.
Smart brunch fare, contemporary digs and daytime cocktails — it's probably safe to say Sartoria has the area's café needs all sewn up.
Images: Thanh Do.