Good food, good coffee, good company. It seems like a simple concept, but in reality it can be hard to perfect. Luckily for Ascot Vale locals, Domenic and Diana Caruso have delivered all three in spades with their newest cafe, No. 19.
It’s no surprise the talented duo has hit the nail on the head – after all, they’ve been around the block before, having opened Essendon’s St. Rose in late 2013. With No. 19, they are spreading their appreciation of specialty coffee, beautiful brunch and daring design that little bit further, introducing a whole new set of locals to their innovative ideas.
When it came to designing the space, Domenic and Diana turned to designer, Jean Pierre Biasol. Globally recognised for his work with interiors, Jean Pierre has expertly created a refined, modern and minimalistic space, featuring brass sconces, indoor plants and textured concrete walls with pops of blue.
Once the design was under control, it was onto the coffee. Five Senses supplies the house blend, Dark Horse, which Head Barista, Lemara Winterton, converts into a beautifully balanced brew. There’s also filter coffee on offer, produced by the Marco SP9 brewers that take pride of place on the counter.
Don’t fancy caffeine this morning? Look to the Wellness Latte menu, where healthier alternatives such as hibiscus and beetroot, or coconut and turmeric reside.
The Wellness Latte menu is just one element of No. 19’s larger health focus – the food menu includes gluten-free, vegan and refined sugar-free options. You’ll find cleanse bowls and superfood salads packed with halloumi, toasted seeds and a truck load of vegetables, as well as chia banana bread with coffee mascarpone, buckwheat and bee pollen.
If you’re hoping to sink your teeth into something with a little more chunk than funk, No. 19 offers a few classic choices, including the Wagyu beef burger with smoked cheddar and No. 19 special sauce, served with thick cut chips. If that isn’t quite your style, there is also the Cherry Ripe pancakes with stewed cherries, coconut, choc cherry fudge ice cream and dark chocolate mascarpone, all topped with a cherry ripe soil.
Regardless of which side you sit on when it comes to brunch options, you can rest assured that ingredients haven’t travelled far to reach your plate. Domenic and Diana strive to source fruit and vegetables as locally as possible, as well as using some of the highest quality produce Melbourne has to offer.
This approach doesn’t stop at the basics, further extending to the sweet treats on the counter – No. 19 is an avid stockist of Butterbings and is lucky enough to host a selection of Doughboys donuts every Sunday.
An extremely welcome addition to Ascot Vale, No. 19 has everything you could desire at your fingertips. With excellent food, coffee and a stunning space, No.19 ticks every box you could want.