With all of the excellent and plentiful eateries on offer on the Gold Coast these days, it can sometimes be hard to take your pick. Options. Options. Options. And for the most part, we must all agree; it’s a brilliant thing. But when you want to slow things down a nudge and enjoy just the simple things — executed with utter finesse — there’s a new kid on the block we just know you’re going to love. Burleigh’s newly opened Paloma Wine Bar is your new sophisticated hangout spot — and you’re going to be smitten.
But who is behind the venue? For those who are no stranger to the much-lauded and hatted Restaurant Labart, you’ll be aware that husband and wife team Alex and Karla Munoz Labart are some serious hospitality veterans from Sydney who made the sea change to West Street Burleigh Heads in 2018. And for that, the Gold Coast will always be thankful. However, their focus has now turned on creating a James Street wine bar that is fun, vibrant, and at its core, just a simple place for people to enjoy fantastic wine and equally brilliant small plates.
The space takes over from former venue Burleigh Bar & Bites and, through the pair’s love of decor, has been transformed into a haven of clean coastal chic with oceanic blue leather banquettes, dune sand white walls, and soft khaki green tiling. Hand-blown light fixtures from Currumbin’s Soktas punctuate the entire setting with classy low-level lighting, perfect for staring lovingly into your glass of wine in hand.
When it comes to a wine list of breadth and approachability, you’ll be hard pushed to find anything else similar on the Coast. A no bars approach has been taken with the offering, affording the customer a vast range of styles, producers, and countries to choose from to spoil their tastebuds with. Maybe a zesty and crisp Savignin (Sauvignon Blanc’s cousin) from the hilly Jura region of France will quench that Friday knock-off thirst, or perhaps a sultry and smooth Pinot Noir from Victoria’s Gippsland will take the edge off a hectic weekend of festive shopping.
Take your time here to explore the list and you’ll be rewarded with some absolute treasures, including a robust collection of natural style (skin contact) wines and pet nats (naturally sparkling), which if you haven’t tried, you should at least give a go. For those giving the wine a miss, you’ll still be catered for with a solid selection of signature cocktails (the bar is named after the refreshing tequila/grapefruit cocktail afterall), a well-stocked back bar, with a spattering of local craft beers.
Small dishes will complement the drinks forward focus here, but certainly not lacking any creativity or flavour. Think European-inspired and Mediterranean splashed dishes such as Burrata, white anchovies and peppers on toast, and Beef tartare with tarragon and anchovy vinaigrette. Oh and we’ve even heard a whisper that their beloved lockdown, La Burger, is set to make its comeback to Paloma. Be sure you have those stretchy pants within reach, folks!
Chef and co-owner Alex Munoz Labart tells us this, ‘Paloma is a neighbourhood wine bar. Pop in for a pre or post-dinner drink or come early and settle in for the night. We want you to treat it as your own, get to know our team and make it your home away from home”.
With such a stellar line-up of drinks and fabulous flavour laden dishes on offer, we doubt you’ll need any further encouragement.
When: Wednesday – Friday 3pm – late & Weekends 1pm – late
Where: 12 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Words by Alex Mitcheson.