GOLD COAST — There’s mozzareally good news for cheese lovers: A specialty mozzarella store and restaurant is opening in the Gold Coast.
The Mozzarella Store will open July 5 at 822 N. Michigan Ave. with fresh and aged Italian cheeses created in the traditional Italian way, according to a news release. Besides cheese, it’ll serve up pizza, coffee, snacks and other Italian specialties. Its dog-friendly patio will have seating for up to 42 people.
Customers will also be able to stop by to watch professional cheesemaker Armando Vanacore — who is from Campania, Italy, and has 10 years of experience — make cheese from behind a glass wall along Pearson Street.
The cheese menu will include fior di latte mozzarella; burrata stuffed with pistachio cream, walnuts and black truffle; and sfoglia, or sheets of mozzarella filled with ingredients like vegetables and salumi.
The pizza will be done Naples-style, meaning it’ll be made with mozzarella and tomatoes, and it will be crafted by a master pizzamaker who has a custom-built pizza oven that can cook 20 pies at a time. It can be made with a gluten-free dough upon request.
Small plates, including caprese and caponata Napoletana, will be available. Desserts will include brioche con gelato, a type of softer ice cream sandwich, and sfogliatella, a flaky pastry made with sweet ricotta cheese.
Customers will be able to get coffee at the restaurant’s cafe, which is overseen by a manager who was trained in Napoli, Italy, for a month to better understand Italy’s culture of coffee. Italian beers and wines will also be offered throughout the day.
The food will be available on a menu for those who want to dine in or can be bought for customers on the go. Italian-imported foods, including extra virgin olive oil, pistachio cream and grilled eggplant, will be available through the store.
The cheese will be made from local, organic dairy products provided from the Golfo di Napoli Dairy in Warren, Indiana.
The Mozzarella Store will be open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. It’s cafe, salumeria and pizzeria sections will have varying hours.