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Pepè Italia

What happens when three Italians open a restaurant in Burleigh...

Authentic Italian food is a rare luxury in Burleigh Heads, or it was, until the arrival of Pepé Italia.

Connor Streets’ latest eatery is owned and operated by three friends (one a chef) all of whom moved to Australia three years ago from northern Italy. Sounds good so far, right?

Using traditional recipes handed down from Nonna, the menu is filled with all the Italian dishes you know from arancini to homemade gnocchi, but there are a few lesser well known dishes that will have you preaching ‘Viva Italia’.

For entrée, don’t go past the house specialty Olive All’ascolanaa – green olives filled with pork, beef and chicken then crumbed a fried. As if the tangy goodness of olives wasn’t enough, now they’re stuffed and fried. Mouthfuls of salty perfection.

Prepare to have your mind blown by Spaghetti Alla Positano in Crosta di Pizza – a mouthful in more ways than one. It’s calzone cooked in the pizza oven filled with spaghetti and Napoli sauce, cherry tomatoes, prawns, calamari, clams, mussels and parsley. Even the biggest eaters will struggle with this one.

Make room for the Pepé, this is the pizza of choice made on a truffle puree base and topped with fior di latte (a soft Italian cheese), porcini mushrooms, sausage, rocket, Parmesan cheese and evo oil. It’s all your truffle dreams come true on a pizza.

An all-Italian beverage menu offers the original red Peroni (who knew) and imported soft drinks all the way from northern Italy to your grateful tastebuds.

Every minute detail has been taken care of to ensure an entirely Italian experience. Open for lunch and dinner, prepare yourself for a feast.


HOURS: Daily from 8am to 10pm

LOCATION: 11 Connor Street Burleigh Heads

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

10 pasta dishes worth eating carbs for

While it’s true that we believe all pasta dishes are worth eating carbs for, and don’t particularly care about eating carbs at all, some people do.

So, for those people, we’ve chosen the best of the best past dishes across the Gold Coast to make it worthwhile when the time comes to indulge in said carbs.

Here we go with the top 10 pasta dishes worth eating carbs for.

Fellini Ristorante – Linguette ai frutti di mare
Found overlooking the Broadwater at Marina Mirage, Fellini is adored for their exceptional service, luxurious ambience, and above all else – impeccable pasta. We say go for the Linguette ai frutti di mare which is pasta cooked with fresh mixed seafood in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, chilli, fresh tomato and white wine parsley. The perfect pasta treat.
Where: Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach

Alfresco Italian Restaurant – Lasagne
This authentic Italian family run restaurant has been around since 1992 and we sure do know why. With a foundation built on family, the Alfresco Italian restaurant team consistently dish up amazing Italian cuisine. One of the signature dishes is the classic homemade style lasagne, simple but done absolutely perfectly.
Where: 3018 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise

Salt Meats Cheese – Flaming Cheese Wheel Pasta
This ‘too good to be true’ pasta dish will have you go up in flames. Watch as your pasta is prepared at your table in a flaming wheel of Parmesan cheeseThis theatrical spectacle happens every Wednesday night from 6pm. Make sure you book ahead so you don’t miss out any longer.
Where: 10 Beach Rd, Surfers Paradise

Cicchetti – Taglioni Al Granchio
Cicchetti Pizza & Pasta Bar treats you to all the cultural delights of Italy, including pasta, of course. The highlight on their pasta menu has to be Taglioni al Granchio – Spanner crab coated in a chilli, garlic, pepper, cherry tomato and white wine sauce tossed through house made taglioni. It’s an absolute treat for your tastebuds.
Where: 2G01/15 Via Roma, Isle of Capri

Gemelli – Spaghetti al Gamberi
The Gemelli twins James and Alec are known for creating an authentic Italian and all their dishes, including the mouthwatering pasta, are made fresh in house daily with all of the insane flavours. Definitely give the Spagetthi al Gamberi a try; think prawn cutlets, zucchini, chilli, garlic and olive oil, simple and extremely delicious.
Where: 2/2685 Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach

Cucina Vivo – Fettucine Carbonara
Located on the first floor of The Star Gold Coast is Cucina Vivo, a rustic and traditional Italian restaurant overlooking the pretty pool situation and resembling a dleightful weekend away by the Italian seaside. The housemade Fettucine Carbonara is served in a rich, creamy sauce with pancetta, egg, cracked pepper and pecorino cheese and it’s the goods.
Where: The Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Drive, Lobby Level, Broadbeach Island

Goccia Italian Pizzeria
Serving up all the very best things in pretty little Mermaid Beach is Gocccia Italian Pizzeria, a relative newbie on the scene with their very own imported pizza oven and traditional recipes passed down for generations. There’s no going past the Beetroot and Potato Gnocchi served with pumpkin purée and roasted pine nuts for obvious reasons.
Where: Shop 1A-2375 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Justin Lane – Pappardelle, Wagyu Bolognaise
The team at Justin Lane take pasta very serious with their very own pasta bar to ensure everything is made fresh to order. All in honour of their catchcry, ‘Eat, drink and be messy’. You should probably go and try them all but if you have to choose go with the Pappardelle Wagyu Bolognaise, so very tasty.
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads

Pepe Italia – Spaghetti alla Positano Calzone
Burleigh’s moody Italian eatery, Pepe Italia, is owned and operated by three friends (one a chef) all of whom moved to Australia three years ago from northern Italy. Using traditional recipes handed down from Nonna, the menu is filled with all the Italian dishes you know and love. Try the calzone pizza cooked in the oven, filled with spaghetti in Napoli sauce, tomatoes, seafood and parsley.
Where: 11 Connor St, Burleigh Heads

Balboa Italian – Roasted Lamb Cannelloni
Balboa Italian’s phenomenal fitout complete with the sparkliest of chandelier and a bright red Vespa are not all that’s noteworthy at this incredible Italian eatery. Their pizza is outstanding but most importantly, their pasta is to die for. Do yourself a favour, try the Roasted Lamb Cannelloni and report back with glowing reviews.
Where: 1069 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach

Words by Louisa von Ingelheim

Burleigh’s exclusive dinner series

Your favourite Burleigh Heads boys Justin Lane and Harry’s Steak Bistro are set to launch a series of dinner events showcasing the best of Burleigh’s local hospitality including seasonal eats and the finest Aussie wines.

The series of three wine dinners was created in collaboration with leading vineyards and winemakers Leeuwin Estate, Pizzini Wines and Mac Forbes, and kicks off with the Leeuwin Estate Art Series Wine Dinner at Harry’s Steak Bistro & Bar on Wednesday, August 2.

You’re invited to join the good times with Pizzini Wines hosting what’s sure to be a raucous event, paired with a classic Justin Lane banquet meal, served long-table style.

Inspired by Justin Lane’s much-loved mantra, “eat, drink and be messy”, the Pizzini Wines Winter Feast embraces elegant European hospitality, with tasty, authentic eats paired with a delightful selection of fine Italian wine varieties.

The series returns to Harry’s with the Mac Forbes Wine Dinner, a special event themed as a spring awakening on Thursday, September 28.

Harry’s has collaborated with the Yarra Valley’s cult winemaker, Mac Forbes himself, to guide guests through a sweet selection of five premium wines, matched with Harry’s specialty goods, the best steaks and never ending fries.

It’s an exciting (and fancy) way to experience the Burleigh Heads dining scene!

Balboa Italian

Packing punches bigger than Rocky…Balboa Italian, the new kid on the block. Adding to Palm Beach’s already impressive lineup of bucket list eateries. If it’s not the mouth-watering Italian cuisine and the delicious cocktails, it’s at the very least the phenomenal fit-out, the glamorous chandelier or the bright red Vespa that will leave you yelling ADRIANNN…

Firstly, let’s take a minute to appreciate the monumental precision that has gone into creating Balboa’s fit-out. A two storey Italian escape with red brick walls, big open spaces and head turning features. Wrought iron is used as a feature throughout the restaurant and can be seen on the staircase, the custom made shelves (which hold a fine range of liquor)and the exposed beams that seperate the two levels. Traditional Italy meets urban classic, the brick walls, polished concrete floors and big wooden bar framed with wrought iron panelling set the theme.

Balboa’s lower level offers seating both inside and out, and leaves you immersed in the thick of the action. Head upstairs and enjoy a more intimate dining space, with plush velvet lounges, even a private dining area separated by a chained curtain. Then there are the finishing touches, lush greenery, a variety of antique lights, a bright red Vespa that sits on a steel beam above the main entrance and the main head turner, a giant 12 tier chandelier which proudly hangs beside the bar.

If you can manage to keep your gaze focused for a short while, your attention will be drawn to the main event, food!  “insert eye of the tiger here”. They’ve kept the menu simple and embraced the traditional authentic flavours; pizzas, pastas, risottos, antipastos, steak… the essentials. If we’re talking about contenders for the champion belt, it’s going to be a tough fight; Chestnut Gnocchi, black truffle, vegetable essence, sage and Grana Padano VS the Pizza Bianche Pollo, caramelised pears, chicken, fontina, thyme, mozzarella and balsamic. Or the Polpete, house made meatballs, beef, pork, veal, tomato sugo and crostini going head to head with Fiorentina Style T-Bone Steak, Tuscany style potato, confit garlic, rosemary and pan seared tomato.

Rehydrate between rounds with one of Balboa’s delicious cocktails, a glass of local or imported wine or a cold refreshing beer. The attentive wait staff awaiting in the corner with towel in hand ready to make sure you’re well looked after. Finish up the final round, the big K.O, with a homemade dessert… Salted Caramel Panna Cotta anyone?

The gloves are off, Palm Beach home to yet another winner.


Dinner: Wednesday – Monday 6pm – late

Lunch: Friday – Sunday from 12.30pm – 2.30pm

By Amy Merridan

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