It may only be February, but this year is already shaping up to be an exciting one for Brisbane diners. Later this month, Paddington is set to welcome a new locale, Elementi Restaurant. The Italian restaurant and wine bar is the first project from three friends with an admirable combined pedigree – ex-Julius Pizzeria sous chef Pedro Sanson, ex-Beccofino pizza chef Stefano Spataro and Mauricio Zarate, a hospitality veteran and longstanding front-of-house figure at Beccofino and Maeve Wine. Elementi’s fit-out is currently underway, with the venue set to open in mid-to-late February. On arrival, diners will immediately be welcomed by an extensive bar, which will house an impressive wine selection (think classic bold flavours accompanied by more unusual bottles and minimal-intervention drops), alongside an array of cocktails and aperitivo. Further along sits the open pizza bar, where salivating patrons can watch on as the team works its magic in the open woodfired oven. Behind the scenes in the kitchen, the Elementi crew will be crafting an ever-changing menu of Italian bistro-style mains and pastas. While Italian food will be the hero of Elementi, expect to see influences from Pedro, Stefano and Mauricio’s respective native Brazilian, Sicilian and Colombian cultures. Elementi will be open for dinner and takeaway six nights a week, plus lunch service on weekends. We’ll have full details on the restaurant and wine bar in the coming weeks!
The dining scene in Brisbane’s bayside is heating up, especially with the news that hospitality group The Consortium Queensland (Tide on the Jetty) is working on a new fire-powered restaurant in Manly. The Arsonist is the name of the forthcoming eatery, which is taking over the space formerly home to cafe Little and Oliver’s on Manly’s Esplanade. As one can probably glean from the name, The Arsonist will open seven days a week and will specialise in fire-licked fare, with the majority of the menu cooked over charcoal and open flame. Chef Mat Fulford (who was previously the executive chef at Sirromet Winery) is spearheading the kitchen, which will undergo a refurbishment to make room for more seating and to open it up to the curious eyes of diners. Mat’s menu will spotlight freshly-sourced produce, using the caress of flame and smoke to bring out some earthy flavours. We’ve been told to expect the likes of whole suckling pig and lamb shoulder, as well as some breakfast bites prepared using flame – think woodfired berries with toasted granola, pulled smoked brisket and bacon-and-egg jaffles (both made using an old-school campfire-style jaffle maker), and The Arsonist’s own bacon, which will be grilled over open flame. Keep your eyes peeled for more info on The Arsonist, which is scheduled to open in the first half of 2021.
Birrunga Gallery & Dining
Indigenous-owned inner-city gallery and cafe Birrunga Gallery & Dining will be adding a new element to its cultural and culinary offering in March, with the launch of its Indigenous Degustation Dining Experience. The degustation offering will follow similar inspirational cues to the cafe menu, which draws influence from traditional native-Australian bush tucker across its breakfast and lunch menus. Birrunga Gallery & Dining will serve five- and seven-course degustation menus, featuring dishes like strawberry gum-cured crocodile ceviche with finger lime dressing, watermelon, micro basil and freeze-dried mandarin, seared kangaroo fillet with fresh raspberries, char-grilled spring onions, samphire, muntries and blackberry gel, and Marburg emu fan fillet, confit-garlic puree, Sicilian salad and Davidson plum jus. A matched beverage option will also give diners the chance to pair their meal with alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, including sips from Indigenous-owned and operated SOBAH Beverages. The Indigenous Degustation Dining Experience will take place on Thursday and Friday evenings, with two sittings per night (each with low table numbers) spread across the gallery space, surrounded by locally produced Indigenous art. As the culinary program grows, the Birrunga Gallery & Dining team is eager to introduce meet-the-artist opportunities, guest appearances by Traditional Owner native-food specialists, Indigenous musicians, spoken-word and poetry performances. Stay tuned for more information on the experience closer to March.
One of Brisbane’s longest-running music venues is entering 2021 with some fresh blood at the helm. Tour and production manager Luke ‘Boo’ Johnston and music publicist Cat Clarke (a husband-and-wife team) have joined the ownership group of The Zoo in Fortitude Valley, teaming up with Pixie Weyand (who has owned and operated The Zoo since 2016) as the brains trust guiding the storied venue into the future. The trio will be looking to undertake a gradual overhaul of the venue throughout the year, with some upgrades in the works that will likely come as a godsend to anyone that has enjoyed a sweaty night or two in the pit. Expect the long-awaited installation of air conditioning throughout the venue, a refurbishment of the restroom facilities and an extension of the liquor licence to 3:00 am – perfect for those that need a minute to come down from a particularly raucous gig.
Power Hour at Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq
Getting your head back into the working week is hard to do, especially when the weekend gone was a real blast. If you want something to make Mondays a bit more manageable, Tuesdays more tolerable and Wednesdays worthwhile, Upstairs at Toombul’s circus-slash-arcade bar Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq is giving folks unlimited games and attractions plus discounted bowling for just $10 between 5:00–6:00 pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. While you’re there, you might as well sample some of the Instagram-worthy delights from the menu, including one of the bar’s boozy shakes or one of the kitchen’s many toasted sandos. Just consider it an early-week treat – you deserve it.
Baos Pop Bistro’s all-you-can-eat dim sum
Love pushing the limits of your stomach lining? Adventurous South Brisbane eatery and bar Baos Pop Bistro is hosting all-you-can-eat lunch sessions every Saturday between 11:30 am and 2:30 pm. For $25, guests can quash hunger pangs with a selection of 12 dishes, from succulent dumplings to fluffy baos. What’s more, the price also includes a frosty craft beer to help wash down your feast. If you want to track us down on the weekend, this is where you’ll find us.
If you’ve heard something that’s worth mentioning in The Weekend Edition’s Pavement Whispers, email [email protected].