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FOOD & DRINK

Rosmarino Is Fortitude Valley's New Sicilian-Inspired Restaurant Inside a Former Warehouse

The Italian eatery has opened a 60-seat dining room and courtyard inside the newly revamped Marshall Street building.
By Sarah Ward
August 04, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
August 04, 2021
  shares

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, since late July, that's where the city's newest Italian restaurant has been serving up Sicilian-inspired dishes.

Rosmarino opened its doors before Brisbane's latest lockdown, and has pivoted to running a pop-up bakery and doing takeaway and delivery orders while the city is under stay-at-home conditions. But when it can open for business as usual again, patrons will find 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.

And if you're wondering what's on the lockdown menu, the bakery specials change daily, spanning everything from stuffed focaccia and stuffed fried pizzas to duck pie. Meanwhile, the pick-up and delivery range includes burrata with truffle honey and caramelised onion, lasagne bolognese and deconstructed white chocolate cheesecake.

Find Rosmarino at 15 Marshall Street, Fortitude Valley — with the restaurant open 12–2.30pm Friday–Sunday and 5.30–9.30pm Wednesday–Sunday, and the wine bar open from 5pm from Wednesday–Sunday, when Brisbane isn't under lockdown. During lockdown, the restaurant is running a pop-up bakery from 7.30am–12pm Thursday–Sunday, and is also doing takeaway and delivery orders from 5.30–7pm Wednesday–Sunday.

Images: Markus Ravik.

Published on August 04, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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