Those who love their cheese and wine will simply adore this Italian providore, tucked away inside a knot of eateries off Bourke Street. A cluster of small wooden tables offer views into the maturation room where mammoth mounds of cheese age gracefully – a telltale sign of where the passion lies for owner Carmelo Ocello. Originating as a market stall, Formaggi Ocello gathers the best artisan cheeses from across Italy and Australia and offers them up in long glass cabinets like culinary treasure chests.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Knowledgeable staff guide guests through products and help match morsels to individual tastes; each scrumptious wedge of cheese is available to take home or dine-in. Rounds of every size and texture form this dairy heaven, from soft to hard, from goat's milk to sheep's milk, and everything in-between. Couples and groups can settle in with a cheese plate, or a mix of salumi and cheese, and pair it with a glass of wine or beer for a leisurely evening repast. Calzoni, beef lasagne, and spinach and ricotta cannelloni offer more substantial meals, while daytime visitors can lunch on a Caprese salad. Dainty pastries, lunettes, almond croissants and chocolate cannoli marry perfectly to a fresh cup of coffee, ideal for an afternoon sugar-kick. Fill the shopping bags with a selection of imported and local cheeses, salumi, bread, condiments and gelati. Divine artisan cheeses will have mouths salivating and minds divided: pecorino al tartufo, a matured cheese of sheep's milk and truffles, or ubriacodi amarone, a cheese immersed in red wine? Gorgonzola dolce latte, a soft, creamy, blue cheese from Lombardia, or vatellina casera stagionato, an aged, hard cheese from the Italian mountains? Decisions, decisions, decisions!