A visit to Mont Albert's stylish Italian-leaning deli and eatery, Via Porta, is like being welcomed into the Cosentino family's home.
"The direct translation of Via Porta is 'via the door'," says Sarah Cosentino. "We want our local community to feel like they're entering an extension of our family's kitchen and pantry."
She's joined by her brothers Simon, Jonathan and Ryan. Simon and Ryan are in the kitchen. Both have spent time on the pans at Michelin-starred Serge Vieira restaurant in France, while locally, Simon cooked for years with Philippe Mouchel, and Ryan at Mornington Peninsula fine diner Doot Doot Doot. Jonathan, also a hospo veteran, runs front of house.
While the Cosentinos are influenced by their Italian heritage, good produce and flavour drive the menu. Expect dishes like hot-smoked salmon open sandwiches on house-made rye, sausage and egg muffins with red pepper ketchup, and crispy fried half-chicken with grain salad and labna. There's also an assortment of panini, and house-made croissants, cannoli and doughnuts.
Inspired by Italian alimentaris, where you can get your groceries alongside your morning coffee, the deli section is packed with smallgoods, cheese and a wide range of take-home meals including lasagne, eggplant parmigiana, slow-cooked lamb shoulder and bread-and-butter pudding.
Sarah, also the co-director of design firm Studio Esteta (responsible for the fitout of Lune, Sensory Lab and Portsea Beach House, among others), is behind Via Porta's design. Limestone, flagstone floors and other textures reference the narrow alleyways of Italy, emphasised by the grocery-packed wall shelving.
The 50-seat eatery is open for breakfast and lunch, but may extend to dinners at weekends once they get their liquor licence.
Open Mon-Sat 7am-5pm, Sun 7am-3pm.
677 Whitehorse Road, Mont Albert, viaporta.com.au