If you grew up in the stunning surrounds of Sorrento, surrounded by the earthy smell of fresh garden produce and the fresh zesty tang of lemons on your Nonno’s lemon farm, you might have grown up to be a great chef too. Instead, that idyllic upbringing belongs to Luigi Buono.
Luckily, he paid attention and brings his delicious memories to us here in Melbourne at his latest foodie foray – Orto Kitchen & Garden.
Into restaurants? You might remember the location at 302 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, as the former Chester White but the look and feel are continents apart. The sprawling garden. Yeah, that’s different. And those people scurrying back and forth from it, snipping herbs and spices to add to your order? It doesn’t get much fresher. What would Luigi’s Mama make of all this?
Spring’s in the air so the outdoor deck and BBQ rotisserie are a great place to hang with friends. Close your eyes and you might even imagine you’re in the Italian heartland. White anchovies and shaved fennel. Shaved tuna bresaola and cauliflower agrodolce. Traditional pizzas and pastas. Slow-braised goat, potatoes, peas and Tuscan pecorino. At least your tastebuds will be fooled. In Italy, it’s all about masses of food to share and the starters here are just as friendly, with all the exotic flavour of home … far, far away in the Mediterranean.
Mangia! Mangia! (Eat! Eat! in Italian)
Orto Kitchen & Garden
302 Burwood Road, Hawthorn 3123
T: 03 9819 2200
Open Monday – Thursday for dinner from 5pm & Friday – Sunday from 12pm for lunch and dinner, and is BYO