Maybe we miss travelling overseas. Maybe we just really love Italian food. Whatever the reason, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve just departed Brisbane and travelled to a charming village along the Italian Riviera right now, given the Mediterranean influence currently flowing in the Valley’s restaurants, bars and eateries.
The Med is famous for its sun-drenched coastline and sun-ripened produce that lends itself to the delicious regional cuisines from Spain, France and Italy all the way to Greece, Turkey and Croatia and the countries of North Africa, Israel and Lebanon.
Wave goodbye to winter and transport yourself to a Mediterranean resort at these alfresco Valley venues and ambience-laden eateries with coastal dining, full-bodied vinos and sparkling cocktail menus.
Within its green foliage façade lies a larger-than-life Italian-inspired restaurant that takes diners on a trip through antipasti, house-made pasta and hand-stretched, wood-fired pizza (with bianca and rossa bases, no less), with happy endings in dessert land.
This rooftop bar-shisha-cocktail lounge at The Constance hotel is a whirling dervish of neo-Turkish street food, crafty cocktails and hip-hop tunes. Visit the Turkey end of the Med and enjoy meze platters, share plates and many more Turkish delights.
Visit the ‘Eternal City’ via the Valley at Eterna on Ann Street. Try traditional Roman cuisine at this late-night diner, which includes a vegan menu. The two-course Chef’s Table Experience imports coastal flair with seafood, Italian wine and summery cocktails.
Giardinetto Italian Restaurant
The Valley’s OG Italian trattoria is the spot for classic, hearty fare. Giardinetto’s a la carte menu features the tried-and-true favourites beloved by diners over the past 55 years – just like nonna used to make – plus aperitivos, cocktails and Italian wines.
Sourcing its menu inspo from the entire Mediterranean coastline from Barcelona to Beirut, Hotel X’s Iris rooftop bar traverses Spanish tapas to Italian antipasti plus Moroccan meats and Persian sweets for a most epicurious voyage.
La Costa Restaurant & Bar
With seafood as the star, the Mediterranean-inspired meals and cocktails at La Costa conjure the coastal appeal of the Italian Riviera. Slide in for antipasti, pizza and pasta plus signature cocktails, spritzers and classic concoctions from Sydney’s Maybe Sammy bar crew.
Also housed within the La Costa dining precinct, La Valle laneway bar and bottleshop is the spot for a 200-strong list of Italian and imported vino accompanied by Spanish beers, limited-edition Italian tinnies, snackable cheese boards, focaccia and bruschetta.
The Rose Room
This blush-pink cafe at The Constance hotel channels the pillowy interior of a Turkish delight with a list of sweet and savoury breakfast, brunch and casual fare inspired by Turkish flavours. And yes, Turkish coffee and apple tea are on the menu.
Rosmarino Ristorante & Wine Bar
Due to open this month, Rosmarino is a casual Italian fine diner that goes heavy on fresh pastas, sliced salumi and freshly baked sourdoughs and focaccia, thanks to head chef Dario Manca’s Italian heritage. With a 200-strong wine list for launch, it’s sure to be to dine for.
For Italian that doesn’t stand on ceremony, feast your eyes on Uh-Oh Spaghetti-o. The late-night pasta bar in Bakery Lane does a solid trade in all your fave saucy dishes as well as salads and antipasti, plus punchy cocktails, Aussie and NZ drops and craft beers.
– June 2021