A bustling De Clieu cafe was our first stop on our 'Fitzroy and North Melbourne' day with C - a delightful place for brunch with some lovely simple interior design - all geometric wood blocks and a rustic feel to the menu. We got a table in the corner, which was spotlit dimly, making it a little hard to take photos but not too bad.
The running flavour theme in my toasted falafel sandwich seemed to be that tangy, acidic flavour, both in the coleslaw (?) salad within the sandwich and the vinaigrette salad on the side. Luckily, I enjoy those flavours and the sandwich was incredibly filling. C's smashed peas with feta (I believe...) were also beautiful to both taste and look at. I didn't try the eggs benedict but it looked both well presented and very fresh.
DE CLIEU CAFE 187 Gertrude St. Fitzroy VIC 3065 Opening: 7:00am - 5:00pm (Mon - Sat) | 8:00am - 5:00pm (Sun)
This was sorely needed after a long day of wandering around Melbourne. Cafe Cavallino was, according to C, one of the best in Lygon St's considerable range of Italian restaurants and decorated with a running Ferrari and F1 motif. We sat at a quiet table at the back of a rather narrow section of the restaurant, which was great for conversation.
The tomato and cheese bruschetta is a cliche for a reason - because they are a great combination of flavours, even if you're not reinventing the wheel. At the end of a long day, sometimes you want to revel in comfort food. The cheese was very chewy.
I had a mushroom and avocado fettucini, which was a generous serving with a decent amount of toppings. The sauce was creamy but not too heavy and pasta was - to a non-discerning palate - chewy and well cooked. Definitely a great source of much-needed carbs and warmth in the heavily air-conditioned interior (granted it was a musty 38C outside but it cooled down very fast indoors).
Cafe Cavallino 181 Lygon St, Carlton Opening: 6:00pm - 10:00pm (Mon - Fri) | 5:30pm - 10:00pm (Sat) | 6:00pm - 10:00pm (Sun)
We do have N2 Gelato in Sydney and, unfortunately, my limited experiences there were not that pleasant, mostly due to bad choice of flavour selection (Geisha's Milk...don't recommend). Milo flavoured gelato is fairly easy to create (nevermind that they existed long before N2, in the form of their green cup incarnation) and it wasn't as though dipping the top in Milo powder was particularly unexpected...but I cannot quite express how needed it was after an entire morning of wandering the Rose St Artist's Market in 39C temperatures. A perfect combination of childhood nostalgia and cold sweet things in aircon that made this experience so excellent.
You have to admire stores like N2 that are constantly pushing the envelope and challenging new flavours. Sometimes they produce duds, but more often than not, you might get something fabulous.
N2 Extreme Gelato 329 Brunswick Street Fitzroy Opening: 1:00pm - 11:00pm