66 Latitude Blvd
|work hours||Tue – Sat 8am-5pm, Sun 8am-4pm|
|Features||Licensed family friendly outdoor seating|
|the prices||Medium (Mainlines $20 – $40)|
|Payments||eftpos, Visa and Mastercard|
|phone||03 9463 4222|
A look comes at people when they first arrive at That Amore Cheesery. It is a bewildering mixture of wonder and delight, expressed in the exclamation and vertigo that sees the newcomers flocking here and there, wondering what fresh delights will appear.
This way, an oversized blue and white cow statue, this way a spreading herb garden, stands in front of a set of glazed ceramic heads (if you’ve ever been to Sicily, you might remember these plant pots known as Teste Di Moro). And there – oh, wow, look! Cheese-loaded refrigerators.
The surprise is amplified by the site, an industrial estate in the northern suburbs that the factory sprays. As you wander around the optimistically titled “Blvd” in the parking lot, there is no indication that you are about to be surrounded by such exuberance, nor can you be fed such delicate and proud Italian food by the welcoming spirit-drenched waiters.
This Amore was founded by Sicilian immigrant Giorgio Linguanti in 2008 when he started making Boconcini for restaurants. The business now turns Victorian cow and buffalo milk into 65 different types of cheese, fresh and aged, traditional and exotic (a new type takes plants from a local gin distillery and dips them in cheese).
It’s an incredible Melbourne success story, responsible for making clay burrata a regular item on our restaurant menu and teaching the wider community that mozzarella can be so much more than just a spread on pizza.
With the factory out, the indoor and outdoor café is a place to display cheese made on site, as well as a sincere expression of hospitality. “We want to treat people like our friends, as if they were coming to our house,” Linguanti says.
This is the ambiance for sure, but the food goes well beyond the local cuisine. All-day breakfast might mean poached eggs with lemon ricotta or eggs benedict with crumbled cashews, fresh cheese.
Appetizers are a bountiful plate of cottage cheese, premium green olives, and a juicy piece of mortadella wrapped around stracciatella, a drizzle of mozzarella cheese dipped in cream. It is very good.
Pork belly is wrapped in garden-grown herbs and roasted to make porchetta with exceptional crackling. You can eat it with salad and potatoes, or stuff it into one of our excellent paninis.
Made with long crunchy rolls, Panini is a meal and marvel. Other good stuffing options include Pugliese, stuffed with schnitzel (chicken is peeled and crumbled here with house-herb crumbs – the morals from scratch are excellent), and Helen, stacked with caciocavallo (old-fashioned mozzarella), half-dried tomatoes and spinach.
Chef Carlos Nasperan presents specials of creative burrata: a modern presentation with celeriac puree and arugula pesto.
There’s always a place for cannoli, crisp tubes of pretzels with ricotta mix sweetened with cinnamon or chocolate. Grab one of each and keep tough decisions for drinks: Coffee and Prosecco both love romance with cannoli. Whichever way you look at it, it’s awesome.