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The Best New Brisbane Restaurants This Month

By George Hadgelias

There is so much happening around Brisbane!

Is that a small temperature dip we detect in the morning air? We think so, which means the cooler months are on our doorstep. Don’t think for a second that we’re about to go scurrying indoors – that’s no fun! There’s so much happening around Brisbane that we’re more than happy to don an extra layer (even if it’s a thin one) when scooting around town. March brought with it a bunch of exciting new openings to check out, from a chic wine bar and nosh spot from the Julius Pizzeria crew to a brand-new bakery from the brains behind Crust & Co Artisan Baking.

Here are five new openings we’re loving right now!

Bar Rosa, South Brisbane:
The closure of highly regarded Gauge left a sizeable hole in Fish Lane’s restaurant scene, but stomachs haven’t been left empty. Cordell Khoury, Paolo Biscaro, Aleks Dzajkovski, Anthony Nicastro and Stefan Angelovski, the crew behind beloved Fish Lane locales Julius Pizzeria and Bar Brutus have gamely stepped up to see the site filled, opening intimate 35-seat drink and nosh spot Bar Rosa in early March. The Bar Rosa team engaged Clui Design to help shape the venue’s refit, instilling a simple material palette of marble, wood panelling, fluted glass and concrete that creates a sense of contemporary chic. Long-time Beccofino chef Enrique Rosa has stepped into the kitchen as Bar Rosa’s head chef, working with Cordell and Anthony on a menu boasting classics and crowd favourites that are perfect for a standalone meal or a rapid repast before popping over to a show at QPAC. Core to the Bar Rosa offering is stuzzichini, better known as finger foods, snacks and nibbles – think veal and pork meatballs, stuffed zucchini flowers, anchovies, pizza fritta with burrata and tuna crudo. Fleshing out the menu are a couple of rotating pasta options and two mains – think veal saltimbocca with gnocchi Romana and grilled fish of the day. Though not exclusively a wine bar, Bar Rosa’s vino selection is impressive, with a load of Italian varietals taking in the likes of chianti, barolo, barbaresco, fiano and vermentino available alongside classic and signature cocktails.Ardo’s, Newstead:
A wine bar with a self-serve tap – are we in heaven? Ardo’s, the new cellar door and vino joint from the City Winery crew, might look like a slice of heaven to oenophiles, what with its full shelves of wine from Australia’s most exciting producers. In reality, Ardo’s is a hybrid venue – a micro cellar door and bar that caters to drink-in custom and takeaway sales. There are some European influences in the mix, with traces of Basque country hospitality woven into the fabric of Ardo’s interior style and operational model. In addition to browsing the shelves, sippers can flip through a wine list featuring 120 varieties, as well as an easy to navigate by-the-glass selection that spotlights producers like Arfion, Basket Range, Defialy and Tom Shobbrook (as well as City Winery’s own Gerler range). In the corner of a space sits a set of taps, which gives clientele the chance to minimise wastage by buying a branded vessel and filling it with a rotating selection of season-appropriate vino. A cabinet houses an array of pintxos-style snacks that you can order by the piece, while a providore corner has all the bits and pieces one would need to create their own cheese and charcuterie board. With wine, snacks and atmosphere all on point, Ardo’s isn’t doing much to dispel the notion that it’s elysium made real in a Newstead back street.Eat at Billy’s, Rosalie:
It’s no secret that sandwiches are all the rage in Brisbane right now, but what might be a secret to some is that some of the best sambos are being served down in Rosalie Village. Eat at Billy’s, the sandwich-slinging sibling to big-name butcher Meat at Billy’s, is parlaying primo protein into a tight menu of two-handers. The menu is tight, boasting only four options alongside a handful of extras, but what the range lacks in size it more than makes up for in flavour. The Red Neck, a southern-fried chicken sandwich boasting crispy Elgin Valley free-range chicken tenders, is the perfect choice for fans of crispy chook. The Butcher – a beefy number featuring 150-g of Cape Grim grass-fed rump steak, caramelised onions, rocket and cheese sauce – is bringing the steak sandwich back into vogue. The Big Paulie (a creation of Eat at Billy’s head chef David Aron) sees 150-g of carved Berkshire pork belly porchetta sandwiched with crispy crackling, salsa verde, pickled red onions, rocket and confit-garlic mayo, while the Not A F*$&en Rueben piles slice after slice of wood-smoked wagyu brisket with red cheddar, pickles and a drippy dollop of Eat at Billy’s signature sauce. These sandwiches are sizeable, so don’t be afraid to order a beer, wine or soda to help wash everything down.

Oh My Bread, Grange:
When flood waters broke over the banks of Enoggera Creek and inundated the brick warehouse home to Crust & Co. Artisan Baking, we thought we’d seen the last of owner Sebastien Pisasale’s dreamy baked goods. Thankfully for us carb lovers, Sebastien and Crust & Co. 2IC Trifide Belkacemi were determined to get back in the baking game. Almost a year own from Crust & Co.’s closure, the duo have reunited to open Oh My Bread – a brand-new concept located in a thankfully dry spot over in Grange (in the site previously home to Bella & Tortie). Though it shares culinary talent and a similar French-inspired approach to baking, Oh My Bread is a standalone concept. French baking techniques are put to practice creating a range of breads, pastries, savouries and viennoiseries, with a host of new items like cream-filled New York rolls featuring on the shelves and in the cabinets. All that said, Crust & Co.’s iconic pistachio croissant is being sold at Oh My Bread, so long-time fans have no excuse not to check it out.

The Hamsa Room, Paddington:
Naïm – the day-and-night dining destination operated by Vince Estacio and B.J. Wall – opens for post-dusk diners, and most nights it’s incredibly busy. The Hamsa Room, the duo’s new private bar located a across the road from Naïm, is giving folks a space to enjoy an after-dark outing, with the same convivial warmth of Naïm infused into an offering that encompasses bottles of bubbles, platters of slurp-worthy oysters, imaginative cocktails and a menu of smashable snacks. Nestled inside The Hamsa Room’s blue-hued and candle-lit space, diners can immerse themselves in the food and drinks menu (which boasts many vegan and kosher and halal-friendly options), with portions ranging from one-bite snacks to share-style plates. Enjoy Riser Bread sourdough with black-tahini butter to spiced candied pepitas, Tasmanian oysters served with zhug dressing and charmoula sauce, whipped fetta with peach, bee pollen and walnut, shawarma parfait encased in a savoury herb tart, and harissa prawns with ajo blanco puree. The drinks offering is couched in a sense of fun, with highlights like the PB&J Martini and mezcal margarita (with a salt rim exchanged for a foam-like layer) available alongside quaffable Australian wines from of-the-moment lo-fi makers.

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