MELBOURNE | Carl Fodera, after living in Italy for 10 years, returned to Australia, bringing his passion for food and classic Sicilian flavours back with him. Alongside Marco Enea, gelato extraordinare, the duo represent the essence Sicilian traditions in their gelateria and cafe, Il Melograno in Northcote.
The creamy, intenesely flavoured gelato is made fresh daily without preservatives or artificial flavouring. Iranian pistachio, made with crushed pistachios and their chocolate and rosemary gelato are among the crowd favourites. The gelato can even be served in a Sicilian brioche bun if you like, for a sort of ice-cream sandwich. All ingredients in the gelato are locally sourced, and the quality is evident when you eat it – each flavour really tastes like it’s supposed to.
Coffee is roasted in a room at the back of the venue, with a large glass window to peer into. Coffee is roasted by The Ricci Method, who use an old school Italian wood fired roasting method. Enjoy the indulgent Affogato, a hot glass of their house coffee the Columbian and Costa Rican bean blend, poured onto Il Melograno’s creamy coffee gelato.
Now open for dinner, in addition to their breakfast and lunch sittings, the venue offers beautiful Sicilian street food with a modern twist. The Aperol spritz, a traditional Italian aperitif cocktail, which is served before the meal to stimulate the appetite, is available the traditional way, or in lemon and prickly pear flavours. Do keep in mind that an Aperol spritz isn’t meant to be a sweet cocktail – while the version served here is authentic, some may find it not sweet enough. The eggplant parmigiana, layers of baked eggplant with napoli sauce, parmesan and buffalo mozzarella, makes for a lovely starter. The risotto ai porcini, risotto with truffled porcini and the cavatelli con melanzane e spada, cavatelli pasta with sautéed eggplant, swordfish, tomato, mint and wild fennel expresses classic Sicilian flavours perfectly –
great Italian home-style cooking. The arancini with truffled mushroom is also nice, however we did think it could have used another touch, such as a sprinkle of parmesan on top to tie the flavours together.
Overall Il Melograno’s expansion beyond gelato and basic food offerings is a successful one. Rustic Sicilian food, gelato, and cocktails – what more does one need?
76 High Street
Telephone: (03) 9482 2092
Mon – Sun: 5:00pm to 11:00pm