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Establishment 203

Ben O'Donoghue has opened an Italian and steak restaurant in Fortitude Valley.
By Sarah Ward
December 12, 2023
By Sarah Ward
December 12, 2023

Whether the hankering strikes for a steak, a bowl of pasta or a combination of the two — wagyu sirloin bolognese, perhaps? — Brisbanites have a new restaurant that heroes both to hit up. Open since late November 2023 and boasting Ben O'Donoghue in the kitchen, Fortitude Valley's Establishment 203 serves up beef and Italian dishes.

Usually a visit to the Valley's stretch of Ann Street means grabbing drinks; however, top-notch meals are the attraction here. Think: woodfired bone marrow bruschetta, steaks from the fire, beef cheeseburgers, saltimbocca made with Brisbane Valley quail and scampi linguine.

Diners who like to watch the chef in action will find that on the menu as well, as the Billykart talent and Surfing the Menu presenter O'Donoghue whips up farm-to-table fare with Queensland produce — including those hero steaks — and also traditional pastas.

So, if you go with steak — with angus, wagyu with marble scores of six and ten, and grassfed varieties available — it'll be cooked over wood, which is being sustainably sourced from beef producer Stanbroke to give Establishment 203's meats a unique flavour. The pasta range is drawn from O'Donoghue's Italian favourites, including from time spent travelling in Europe and working at The River Cafe in London.

The vibe: sleek, upmarket and elevated, so more than just your average steak joint. Again, that comes through in the menu, where caviar, oysters, kingfish and tuna crudo, beef tartare and chicken liver parfait are also options.

While Establishment 203 is owned by a cattle-farming family with Italian heritage — hence the focus — seafood is clearly also on offer. And as for what you'll be washing down your meal with, the drinks lineup spans signature cocktails, Italian red wines and Brisbane craft beers.

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