The Same Same crew has opened a neighbouring trattoria in Ada Lane, serving up Italian dishes with an Aussie twist.
April 01, 2023
Longtime might've closed its doors a couple of years ago, but the team behind the Fortitude Valley favourite has been busy tempting Brisbantites' tastebuds at its growing range of local restaurants.
Fans of Japanese cuisine have been flocking to Hôntô since 2018, while Same Same started serving up Thai dishes in 2019 — and pouring more than 110 different tequilas at its upstairs bar Los, too. In 2020, Agnes joined the fold as well, and marked the latest venture from acclaimed chef Ben Williamson (ex-Gerard's Bistro, The Apo). Now, classic Italian dishes are on the menu, thanks to James Street's trattoria, Biánca, that opened in 2021.
Nestled into Ada Lane, which branches off of the popular Valley roadway — and also houses The Calile Hotel, Same Same and Gelato Messina — Biánca is all about simple, old-school Italian fare. Williamson has overseen the menu, which gives its range of dishes a few Australian twists via its focus on seasonal produce.
Within the trattoria's pastel-hued confines, diners can tuck into marinated mussels, pickled sardines, nduja, prosciutto di parma, burrata and fiore sardo pecorino with figs — as well as a pasta range that includes campanelle with milk-braised pork, porcini mushrooms and rapini, plus spaghetti with blue swimmer crab.
The Biánca mains are true classics, too. Chicken cotoletta, pork cutlets served on soft polenta and the wood roasted flounder served in an almond cream are all big wins. But be sure to leave room for something sweet. The stellar dessert lineup includes fior di latte gelato, salted caramel and walnut cannoli, tiramisu and a rich chocolate torte topped with seasonal fruit and diplomat cream.
When you're tucking into Biánca's cheeses, breads and pastas, you're eating slices of dairy and servings of carbohydrates all made in-house. Pair it all with one of the many Italian wines or a few cheeky cocktails — highlights include a Campari, creme de peche, white peach and orange juice number, plus a combination of gin, apricot, rosemary and lemon.
And, should you be dining with seven or more people, you'll be picking from the restaurant's two set menus. The $84 option works through five courses, while the $130 menu offers a bigger range, plus a serving of lemon sorbet as a cleanser before dessert.
Inside, as well as pink, salmon, peach and terracotta hues, tiles are a big feature — as is the open-air bar. Upstairs sits the private dining room, which can seat 36, and only serves the two set menus.
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