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FOOD & DRINK

Rosmarino Restaurant & Wine Bar

Fortitude Valley's newest Italian eatery is serving up Sicilian-inspired dishes inside the newly revamped Stewart & Hemmant building.
By Sarah Ward
August 10, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
August 10, 2021
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Every Brisbanite has driven over the Story Bridge, and more than once. If you've headed over from Kangaroo Point to Fortitude Valley, then turned right to go down McLachlan Street, you've also been past the 123-year-old Stewart & Hemmant building on the corner of Marshall Street. In recent months, anyone making that journey would've noticed a major makeover taking place at that very structure — and that's where the city's newest Italian restaurant is now serving up Sicilian-inspired dishes.

Rosmarino opened its doors back in late July, unveiling a 60-seat dining room and courtyard inside the building's heritage-listed brick walls. Natural lighting streams through, timber furniture complements the brickwork, and the view alternates between looking out over the Valley and peering up at maps of Italy, Germany and France.

The venue stems from Lauren Smith and Andrea Gatti, Hellenika's ex-manager and sommelier, with Head Chef Dario Manca (ex-Za Za Ta) leading the kitchen. Smith and Gatti were initially planning to move to Europe, but then COVID-19 got in the way. So, they decided to draw upon Gatti's experience working in Milan's hospitality industry and open their own modern Italian restaurant instead.

Diners can choose between four types of pasta, savoury crepes with porcini mushrooms, and mains such as slow-cooked rolled lamb belly, dry-aged duck breast and risotto ossobucco, as well as beef tartare and kingfish crudo on the antipasti menu. Two degustation options are on offer for dinner, either spanning four or six courses (plus bread), and there's a three-course lunch spread for $49.

Head by just for a drink, and the bar snacks lineup spans three pages — and features an entire page of cheese. Beverage-wise, you can pick between four different negronis, the same number of spritzes, nine other cocktails and a small range of beers. Wine is obviously a big feature, especially biodynamic vinos and affordable champagnes, all curated by Gatti.

Images: Markus Ravik.

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