Every year the city of Lismore celebrates the infamous Lismore Lantern Parade, an annual community arts festival which celebrates the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. On the night of the Lantern Parade in 2012, Lismore had more than one reason to celebrate – it was also the day Café Cappello opened; an auspicious day for this Lismore local, or what?
Tony Pilati, owner and co-manager of Café Cappello, was already well known around town. He’s owned and run businesses in Lismore for over 30 years. From fruit shops to restaurants to pubs, Tony is a Lismore entrepreneur of no small repute. His Italian culture, and in particular, the cuisine of his ancestors’ home in the Veneto region of Northern Italy, was the driving force behind the dream of Café Cappello. And it goes without saying that Italians know a good coffee when they meet one, and Tony was determined to offer the very best in the cups, as well as on the plates.
Tony manages the business with his partner, Tamaya Rose. Theirs is a story of love blossoming over coffee. Tony and Tamaya were baristas in rival restaurants when they first met and fell in love. Today they have come together to serve Espresso Botero coffee from their very own café. Tony acts as head barista, and in fact, the house blend was created specifically for Tony, with the plan that he would be the face of the blend.
The house blend, Marco Vianei, is a medium roast made up of seven South American beans. It yields a deeply nutty coffee with a creamy mouth feel. Marco transfers beautifully in milk, and has all the elements of a stunning signature coffee. Café Cappello serves Marco Vianei for their espresso-based coffees, and serves single origins for their cold drip. Being an Italian café, they also serve Caffe corretto, an Italian drink consisting of a shot of espresso served with a small amount of liquor; try grappa, Sambuca or brandy. In Italian, ‘corretto’ means ‘correct’ – sounds like the correct way to drink coffee to us! Naturally, there’s also affogatos on offer, as well as iced coffee with gelato. The perfect combination of all things Italian!
Café Cappello is open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon coffee and cake, and you’re going to want to be sure to stay in for a meal. Tony says his customers “truly do come in for the coffee then stay for the Italian food journey and culture right here in Lismore”.
Café Cappello has a true family atmosphere, loads of regular customers, and excellent coffee, right in the heart of the Lismore CBD.