There is something about your favourite regular café and a dose of Italian hospitality has become a daily ritual.
You arrive and are given your usual coffee without having to a say a word – a knowing nod and perhaps a simple “good morning” and “thank you”. This is your café… your special “third” place (after home and work).
Vinnies café is close to where I work. Every morning I am greeted by Vinnie, Vito, Andrea and the team. It’s part of a routine and a ritual. Vinnie Tigani knows how to keep his regulars happy. In early 2006, after 10 years at La Dolce Vita in Milton, Vinnie opened his own place in the Newmarket Shopping Centre. Vinnies is an authentic Italian café – frequented by many regulars, many speaking in Italian.
The menu is simple – breakfast fare includes fruit toast ($3.50), various combinations of bacon and eggs, mushroom omelette ($15.50), Eggs Benedict ($13.50), cakes and pastries – and, of course, good coffee or a range of teas. Bruschetta ($11.50), wraps ($14.50), panini, burgers ($17.50), BLT, a fabulous lunch omelette ($17.50), tender calamari with chips ($17.50), pasta and salads are available for lunch.
On Thursday and Friday dinner includes a range of traditional pasta dishes (from $19.50), several pizzas ($19), veal scallopini ($22), vegetarian arrancini ($15.50), fish and chips and calamari. This is traditional Italian; the portions are generous and well made. Vinnie aims to provide simple, quality and consistently good meals.
With both indoor and al fresco dining, the atmosphere is authentic Italian – fast, noisy and fun. The table service, too, is Italian – friendly, efficient, if not a little – how do you say? – “al dente”!
Running restaurants looks simple. But simple is hard. Vinnie’s secret to success is based on commitment. You’ll find him there every day preparing food, serving, cooking or just chatting with the regular customers.
The shopping centre has seen some other coffee places come and go – but Vinnie’s commitment to quality, good service, authentic style and enthusiasm has made him a landmark! A place for regulars and passers-by alike. And it’s my regular place for coffee and a friendly face during the rush of the day. Hospitality is, for most, simply a job but for Vinnie it is an obsession. hospitality has become a daily ritual.