There aren’t many things that are the first of their kind on the Gold Coast these days, particularly when it comes to eateries.
The one thing we absolutely didn’t have but absolutely did need was a dedicated gnoccheria but as they say, good things come to those who wait and here we are to discuss exactly that.
It’s called Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers and it comes to us from Brisbane where it is an extremely popular eatery dedicated entirely to (you guessed it) gnocchi.
Starting as a market stall it was the first of its kind in Australia and there are now two venues in Brisbane plus one for us, which opened recently in Southport.
The idea was to create fresh, handmade gnocchi using the finest fresh local produce, to create delicious light and fluffy potato gnocchi and quality traditional sauces cooked using ‘old school’ methods following secret family recipes. How good.
And that is indeed what you can expect at the newbie, found at Smith Collective in Southport. It’s an intimate space with an open kitchen (for catching all the delicious pasta scents), bench-seating overlooking the street and a few booths and tables if you’re going with the gang. It’s a bright, welcoming space perfect for spending a bit of time consuming all of the delicious dishes you can possibly fit in.
Which brings us to the menu.
To start there are small dishes along the lines of gourmet olives, vegetable chips, truffled salted chips with aioli, calamari and Italian Mopping Bread which is both the best name for a dish ever and designed to ensure you don’t waste a drop of the sauce that comes on your gnocchi. Italians are so smart.
For mains there are six types of gnocchi including Traditional Beef Bolognaise, Creamy Basil Pesto, Wild Mushroom and Truffle, Pork and Fennel Italian Sausage, Creamy Lobster and Barramundi and Spicy Cherry Tomato and Black Olive and let us tell you, they all taste (and smell) like they were imported directly from heaven.
Try every single one.
Dessert-wise there is Sicilian Ricotta Cannoli, Nonna’s Lemon Cake, Classic Italian Tiramisu and Panna Cotta with Raspberry or Passionfruit dressing.
To drink there are Italian beers, wines and cocktails and after dinner digestifs and all of those are an absolute delight obviously.
So, if Italian food is the love of your life (same) don’t miss out on this tasty treat. It’ll gnocchi your socks off. Sorry but it will.
LOCATION: Smith Collective, Nexus Way, Southport
HOURS: 12pm until 9.30pm
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
There are very few things in life better than a traditional pizza straight out of a woodfired oven and made with a whole lot of Italian love. Except maybe a smorgasbord of cheeses and also handcrafted pasta topped with all of the Parmesan. Actually, we love them all equally.
Which is why it absolutely warms our hearts to bring you news of a brand new Italian deli that recently opened in Palm Beach by people whose work you already know and love.
It’s Pepé Italia Deli by yes, the team who gifted us Burleigh’s Pepé Italia in early 2017, so you know it’s going to live up to your highest expectations.
The newbie can be found in Palmy’s brand new refurbished shopping precinct Pavilions, on the highway and it’s the first restaurant to open its doors there. With street frontage, plenty of natural light and happy Italians scattered throughout, it’s a place you’re going to want to spend a bit of time.
Inside you’ll find cabinets filled with a variety of cheeses and dried meats (both local and imported form Italy) and fridges packed with homemade pasta and pre-prepared meals like lasagna and meatballs (oh my) you can take home and pretend you made. Which is exactly what we’re going to do.
The deli is a more casual, pared back version of the Burleigh restaurant but the dishes on offer are quite similar.
On the Antipasti menu, everything was a taste sensation but we particularly loved the Wagyu Bresaola with Wagyu beef, shaved parmigiano, reggiano, rocket and lemon juice – so so tasty.
Pasta-wise, everything is made in-house and while you should probably sample every single dish, we were quite partial to the Ricotta e Spinaci with spinach and ricotta, agnolotti, butter, sage and parmesan cheese and Paccheri Positano with clams, mussels, baby calamari, prawns, barramundi, cherry tomatoes and Napoli sauce. Both absolutely stunning.
In terms of pizza, you obviously can’t go wrong especially where Pepé Italia is concerned. If we had to choose one, it would be the Tropea with San Marzano tomato, fresh buffalo mozzarella, prawns, basil, garlic and chilli. Very fresh and very delicious.
Let’s not forget the desserts and if you’ve ever had an Italian dessert you’ll know they cannot be skipped. There’s homemade Tiramisu, Cannoli Siciliana and Semi Frozen Dark Chocolate to name a few and they’re the perfect accompaniment to a pizza and pasta feast (obviously).
Of course there isn’t a single thing on the menu we would eat over and over again so choose your own adventure and prepare to be wowed.
If you’d like a little tipple to go with your experience, all your favourite cocktails are on offer as well as beer and wine of both the Australian and Italian persuasions.
Perhaps the best news of all though is Sunday Apertivo – a tradition in Italy where everyone gathers on a Sunday afternoon for drinks and the venue provides the food. Which is exactly what’s going to happen at Pepé Italia Deli every Sunday. It’s the Italian version of a Sunday session and everyone’s invited.
Perfection has moved into Palm Beach Gold Coasters, get down there for some good old fashioned hospitality.
LOCATION: Pavilions Palm Beach, 10 Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach
HOURS: 11am until late Wednesday to Saturday and 11am until 8pm Sunday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
Exciting news fresh out of Broadbeach today involving beloved Italian eats by people whose culinary talents have wowed us for quite some time already.
Yes friends, it’s a new Italian eatery adding to The Oracle Boulevard’s already thriving dining scene. Orzo, which translates to ‘barley’ in Italian, is the epitome of exceptional work by Social Eating House and Bar’s owner and executive chef, Matthew Jefferson, along with his wife Dayna who have gifted us with sophisticated coastal Italian cuisine.
And it absolutely delivers on all fronts.
Having only just opened in the last couple of weeks, Orzo exudes an elegant, relaxed vibe that’s also reflected in a menu that focuses on sustainable, local produce that will span lunch and dinner. Italian food all day long, what a treat.
The space itself is perfectly reminiscent of coastal chic with muted pastel tones, a curved wall and an open kitchen so you can watch the chefs work their magic. A wall filled wines, low lighting, gold and marble accents and light wooden light fixtures bring it all together and we are absolutely in love. You may choose to perch inside amongst all that beauty or outside in the fresh air to watch the world go by.
They said it would be the epitome of a coastal hug and that it absolutey is.
The menu features housemade pastas paying homage to southern Italy with mouthwatering dishes, all of which we would love to eat every day forever please.
To start, choose the House Made Foccacia with whipped ricotta and rosemary oil (to die for), the Fried Zucchini Blossoms with stracciatella, tomato and miso and vincotta (one of the most beautiful dishes we’ve ever sampled) and the Veal Carpaccio with tuna mayo, pickled onion, crouton and caper leaf (another life changer). Yes, all of them. Absolutely divine.
Pasta-wise, the Gnocchi with cherry tomato, basil and bush tomato was the fluffiest, most perfect dish of it’s kind we’ve ever sampled. The addition of a crunchy bush tomato concoction meant we wished it would go on forever. On the side add Heirloom Tomatoes with stracciatella, basil and olive oil and you will be one happy Gold Coaster.
There are mains along the lines of Pancetta Wrapped Spatchcock with chicory and grape and Pan Roasted Fish Fillet with sauce vierge with green olives and walnuts and of course, those are absolutely magical too.
There are also delights like house-cured meats and a variety of cheeses (AKA the love of our lives) so you might want to sample those too.
To drink, there are a beautiful array of Italian wines and beers and a list of cocktails that rivals any other.
The Negroni Orzo is perfection with strawberry gum, meletti and pandan and the Little Italy is obviously a delight with Aperol, vodka, lemon, mango and marjoram – the perfect summer sip. The entire list should be on your to do list of course.
So there you have it. If you’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the next-level goodness that is Social Eating House and Bar, you’ll know everything about it is unparalleled.
Make sure you get down there to experience it for yourself, Orzo is one of a kind and we are moving to Broadbeach now, good bye.
LOCATION: Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
HOURS: Daily from 12pm until late
Words and photos by Kirra Smith