Michelangelo Osteria E Caffetteria
215 Queen Street, Melbourne
03 9670 2157
There are love stories, and there are Italian love stories. Michelangelo Osteria e Caffeteria is the product of the latter, a culmination of two people’s love for food, family and each other.
The restaurant and cafe, located at the western end of the city, was established by Ilaria Paiella and Matteo Paoletti Teodori in 2010. Both Italian natives, they spent a large portion of their lives in the hospitality business before separately moving to Australia. Ilaria’s family has owned a legendary wine shop and restaurant in the heart of Rome since 1960, while Matteo studied commercial cookery and worked at the famous seafood restaurant, Il Saraghino.
Their paths crossed in Melbourne, by way of the hospitality industry: she was a restauranteur, and he was working as a chef nearby. They became partners in life and moved back to Rome to become partners in business, managing one of Ilaria’s restaurants, E’Nosteria. When their first child was born, they made the choice to move back to Australia, and created their second ‘child’: Michelangelo.
Regularly frequented by the workers from surrounding businesses, Michelangelo offers traditional and authentic Italian cuisine for breakfast and lunch. As the Head Chef, Matteo makes as much as he can in the kitchen, including fresh pastas, gnocchi, salami and preserves. In fact, the menu is completely homemade, infused with a love for genuine Italian flavours and an appreciation for eating well.
Before visiting, it’d be wise to brush up on your Italian – Michelangelo is so much like its Roman cousin that most communication is in Ilaria and Matteo’s native tongue. However, don’t stress if you don’t know your primo piatti from your secondi – the staff are more than happy to guide you through the offerings, which can change almost daily.
If you’re stopping by before work, the ricotta bruschetta is sure to put a spring in your step: expect toasted homemade bread lathered in ricotta, cinnamon and honey. If you require a big breakfast to really get going, opt for the prosciutto and burrata, which features poached eggs on focaccia with soft burrata and prosciutto.
Halfway through the working day, return for delicious Italian dishes that will leave you pining for the cobblestones of Rome. For something quick and easy, turn to either the caprese, prosciutto, roast beef or chicken focaccia. However, if you’ve got time, it’s worth sticking around. The range of antipasti, salads, pizza, pasta and risotto will turn any tough day into a much happier one, with dishes such as tonnarelli cacio e pepe (pasta with pecorino cheese and black pepper) and pizza marchigiana, topped with broccoli, mozzarella, ciauscolo sausages and chilli.
Michalangelo isn’t the only place that Ilaria and Matteo are spreading the love. They have also opened La Romana Pizza al Taglio, which highlights the Roman style of takeaway pizza. You’ll find pizza by the slice, homemade pork focaccias and the one-of-a-kind ‘trap’ – a pocket of oven-baked pizza dough filled to the brim with deliciously fresh homemade ingredients.
Love is the word at Michelangelo Osteria e Caffeteria. It pervades each dish, each table and each experience, with customers who return time and time again for classic Italian flavours that will never go out of style.