Monday, April 8, 2013
Credit: Ramona Barry
As Oprah would say I have not been in my "right mind" this past fortnight. Stevie Zee caught a superbug during fairly routine and minor surgery and before you could say Methicillin-resistant Stapylococcus aureus, he had clocked up twelve days in hospital (released yesterday, he's now convalescing at home).
My altered, high stress state may have influenced the abnormally excited reaction I experienced at the new Carlton Court Brunetti's. I had naturally heard about its imminent opening, followed the visa kerfuffle in the local paper (importing real I-talians to bring the right amount of strut to the service). None of this prepared me however for the encounter which was rapturous. I almost wept, though that might have been because it was my first night off round the clock child care duties in one hundred years.
I saw mirrored cabinets with tortes, a twenty meter long coffee bar, and elegantly suited waiters with FBI-like ear pieces working in concert on a raised platform. The bold scale, high-ceilings, luxurious surfaces in terrazzo and marble, not to mention the dizzying circular construction, had me enthralled. The theatre! The grandeur! I felt like a lowly peasant who had travelled from the French provinces sometime circa 1888 and caught sight of one of those new things, department stores.
I understand Yuri Angelé and his partner have a few years in the business under their belt, like 38 years. They've learnt a thing or two along the way about creating an impression.They've finessed their vision in Singapore and Dubai. But honestly, on this one I felt they'd sat down with an espresso and a napkin and sketched out the pyramids.
Everybody was there. I saw Italian mammas and their formally attired offspring, fusty academics, stylish queens and gen Y hipsters. In a tribal town like Melbourne this felt like some kind of triumph. I felt glad to be a city girl, glad to be out after dark, glad to be alive.