We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Italian food is a gift from the Gods (aka people who revere carbs, love and afternoon naps above all else). It is both a comforting hug and a combination of flavours that instantly transport you back to that trip you once took to Italy and haven’t stopped thinking about since.
Particularly when it’s the work of two people who understand the importance of all of the above and have indeed spent considerable time living in one of the most beautiful countries in the world themselves.
Maki and Mike Dackiw are the brains behind Tweed Head’s newbie Gallura Italian and their rap sheet is an impressive one. They spent ten years running a trattoria in Milan before making the move to Sydney to open a sister venue and most recently, Park Street Pasta Bar in Brunswick Heads.
Luckily for the Gold Coast, the pair have now made the move to our southern shores and with them, comes a stunning new space brimming with those Italian good vibes you know and love and serving up a menu that will almost certainly blow your mind.
Gallura Italian is an intimate 60-seat venue with low hanging lights, a beautiful, brightly coloured octopus mural and a section called the Chef’s table where you can sit at the bar and watch Mike and the team at work. Oh and there are pendant lights made from oyster shells so that’s amazing.
Now to the menu and what a divine little masterpiece it is. Each dish is refined and made up of perfectly balanced flavours with influences from Sardinia and all made with the freshest of coastal produce.
To begin, the Arancini with black truffle, mushroom, buffalo mozzarella and porcini cream is absolutely divine as is the Chargrilled Local Octopus with cannellini bean crema, pickled green tomatoes, baby radish and nduja. Two of the best Italian dishes we’ve ever sampled (and yes, including from Italy).
One of Gallura Italian’s specialty dishes is the Pane Frattau – a Sardinian flat bread soaked in lamb broth with tomato salsa, basil, pecorino sarda and with a poached duck egg perched on top. It was melt-in-your-mouth magic.
From the Primi menu, the Spaghetti with NZ vongole (clams), confit garlic, vermentino (white wine from Sardinia) and Bottarga (salted fish rose) is mind-blowing, the perfect combination of flavours and the pasta arrived al dente which very rarely happens. Perfection.
For dessert, quite obviously you’ll want to taste the Limoncello Tiramisu and also maybe an Affogato because those are amazing always.
The wine list is made up of Italian tipples from across the country and there is a tight cocktail list should you wish to indulge in a couple of those too.
The emphasis of Tweed Head’s spectacular newbie is on fresh, local produce, handmade pasta and traditional Sardinian methods and may we say they have absolutely nailed it.
We’re probably going to move to Tweed now.
LOCATION: 1/20 Stuart St, Tweed Heads
HOURS: Wednesday to Friday 12pm to 2.30pm and 5pm to 9pm, Saturday 5pm to 9pm and Sunday 11.30am to 3pm
Words and photos by Kirra Smith