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Published September 20th 2010
Lygon Street is the epitome of Italian in Melbourne. Everything is represented: delis, bottle shops, restaurants, hawkers, buskers. Ti Amo is a firm entry into the institution canon, and the whole street is better off for it.
But we're not talking about Ti Amo itself. Ti Amo 2 is an offshoot of the original Ti Amo, situated directly next door. While some may see this as a sheer attempt at greedy money-making, it has actually been pulled off with dignity and a real sense that it belongs with its older sister.
The menu at Ti Amo 2 reflects the original, but with slightly more finesse. Instead of the basic pasta sauces served with basic pasta types, Ti Amo 2 aims slightly higher: cuttlefish risotto stained with cuttlefish ink, gnocchi made from pasta (not potato), and a fantastic range of pizzas, all done in a wood-fired oven. Naturally.
Don't come to Ti Amo 2 expecting French-style service, however. That's not what this place does. This joint does fast, tasty Italian food with little fuss The aim of the game seems to be 'get em in, get em out', but there's no reason why you can't hang around for as long as you want.
A very small gripe: if sitting outside, and you order from both kitchens (which you can do), don't fret if the food comes out at different times. Often, there can be 10 min gaps in between the serving of dishes. Just roll with it: it's the Ti Amo way.