02 Sep Il Melograno, Northcote
Il Melograno is about 3 years old, and while it focused mainly on gelato and later brunch, there were always ideas of expanding into the dinner trade. Dinner service started a month ago, available from 3pm.
Gelato first started in Sicily, as a mix of granita and milk, and is its the most famous food product. For Il Melograno’s food menu, Sicilian family recipes are tweaked to suit Australian produce. Sicily is a bit of a melting pot of cuisines, and sees influence from the Spanish, Arabs and Jews. You’ll see things like couscous and a range of different spices and ingredients such as cinnamon, wild fennel and citrus fruits, so it might offer something different from what you’re expecting.
Arancini makes great comfort food. There’s beef ragu arancini with pea, beef mince and cheese, and the fragrant porcini, truffle and fontina cheese arancini. Some are round, some are pyramidal in shape – the triangle is another traditional shape designed to be easier to hold between the fingers.
The Parmigiana di Melanzane is sigh-inducing. Eggplant, tomato and melted Buffalo mozzarella is a melt-in-the-mouth combination. There are plenty of tasty pasta dishes such as the Tortelloni di Ricotta – housemade ricotta tortelloni with osso buco ragu – and Cavatelli con Melanzane e Spada – a mound of cavatelli pasta sitting on sauteed half-eggplant with swordfish, tomato, mint, crumbs and locally grown wild fennel.
It may be obvious, but gelato is available on the dessert menu too. If you want something fancier than a cup or cone you can get it sandwiched in a brioche bun.
The drinks menu has some indulgent options like gelato hot chocolate, and the Espresso Martini is strong and thick, thanks to the addition of chocolate gelato.
Il Melograno may be famous for its gelato, but it’s definitely worth spending a little longer and staying for dinner too.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Il Melograno as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
76 High St
Northcote, VIC, 3070
(03) 9482 2092