Italian and Greek cuisine is the benchmark for sharing food with people who mean the most to you. It’s fair to say probably half the Gold Coast had some sort of love affair with Hellenika when it was open here, and yes, when it closed its Nobby Beach doors and relocated to Brisbane, we all died a little bit inside.
Sanctuary Cove has long been flying under the culinary radar for most of us, mostly for it being a little out of the way. But as exciting new venues start to eye up the area and change the hospitality landscape, a trip up north could reward you well.
Destino is the handiwork of Craig and Lisa Chilvers a couple with a confessed adoration for anything Mediterranean. After not nearly enough holidays spent in Spain, Italy and the Greek Islands, the pair envisaged an eating space where you can relax and sample some amazing drinks and food (before then buying the very same tablewares you ate with and taking them home with you).
Ever been to a restaurant and fallen in love with their glasses/cutlery/plates so much so you wished you could have taken them home with you? Well, at Destino, you can. All of the furnishings, fixtures, glassware, cutlery – amongst other homewares, are available for you to buy and take home with you.
The tapas bar come homewares store is an absolute feast for the eyes. The fit-out is a kaleidoscope of Mediterranean and Moroccan influenced features, textures and materials. Outdoor seating and low-down tables will ensure one drink may indeed turn into a few. And if we can’t make it to Europe for a while yet, an afternoon at Destino might just satiate your fix for overseas travel.
The food offering is fairly modest as there is no kitchen to speak of as such, don’t be perturbed as there’s more than enough for you to graze on and experience some great-tasting dips, breads, marinated olives and imported cheeses. This is the kind of food that will take you through an afternoon before eventually then moving on to your dinner reservation — or not!
Campos coffee will be served from first thing in the morning, and will take you all the way to cocktails from noon. A small but well-rounded drinks list has you covered with classic cocktails and a couple of house variations such as the Mykonos Mule (vodka, lemon juice, fresh lime, lemongrass syrup, lemonade and ginger beer). Wines focus on Spain, France, Italy and Greece, with some stellar examples of some European classics as well as Australian drops which you simply can’t go past.
The venue aims to incorporate its several guises into one light-filled, tranquil space where everyone can unwind. And quite frankly — we can’t argue.
Where: Masthead Way, Sanctuary Cove
Hours: 6 days, 8.30 am – late (closed Tuesdays)
Words by Alex Mitcheson.