Leonard’s Bar & Bistro and Dawn on Spencer
Brisbane City’s dining scene will welcome a new operator to its midst this week, when Leonard’s Bar & Bistro opens to the public on Wednesday March 24. Taking over the famed red-brick building formerly occupied by acclaimed restaurant Urbane, Leonard’s will be taking cues from the bistro scenes of New York and Paris for its culinary and stylistic direction. Leonard’s kitchen will be helmed by Enda Gaffey (ex-Jellyfish, Libertine, London Fields), who will be taking a broad Mediterranean-inspired approach to the menu, which will consist of star dishes like skirt steak and hand-cut fries with salbitxada, smoked ocean trout, shaved fennel and horseradish creme fraiche, country-style pork terrine, and olive oil cake with lemon curd and meringues – not to mention all-day deli-style items including toasted sandwiches, baguettes and paninis. Joining Leonard’s is laneway bar Dawn on Spencer, which will open on Thursday March 25, offering a range of bar snacks including crispy fried chicken with Thai dipping sauce, jamon iberico with honey-fermented garlic and saltbush and mountain pepper fried calamari. The site’s general manager, former global award-winning mixologist Marco Nunes, has crafted a beverage list that encompasses old and new-world wines, tantalising cocktails, light aperitifs and rare spirits. Both the Urbane and The Euro spaces have been given a significant makeover, with a sizeable refurbishment process resulting in Leonard’s refined old-world burgundy and gold aesthetic and a fresh Riviera-inspired look for Dawn. Check in later this week for our feature on these newcomers!
Sprout Artisan Bakery
In July last year, beloved sourdough slingers Sprout Artisan Bakery started peddling pastries from a pop-up space just a short croissant toss from The Calile. Fast forward eight months and the team has secured a permanent home just up the road on the corner of James and Harcourt Streets (in the building previously home to Waterlily Skin Body Spa). The new site is set to open in early April and will boast more room to showcase an expanded range of products. Expect Sprout’s current range of tarts, flaky croissants, bostocks, scrolls, danishes and loaves, as well as savoury pies and panini sandwiches. Coffee will also be a larger focus at Sprout, with beans from ethical Surry Hills roaster Reuben Hills on deck for those that love a coffee and croissant grab-and-go combo. As for the space, expect a moody industrial aesthetic that serves to draw attention to the pastry cabinet, with a few seats for indoor dining. We’ll have an up-close look at Sprout’s new home when it opens next month, but you can get some advance details here.
After almost a year delivering its heralded (and hatted) style of Maghreb and Middle East-inspired cuisine via a weekly rotating set menu, the team at Gerard’s Bistro is finally bringing back its a la carte offering. Like the set menu service, which remains an option for Gerard’s diners, the a la carte menu will also change weekly, allowing executive chef Adam Wolfers to source and utilise daily seasonal produce in more inventive ways. The share-style offering will encompass the likes of wood-roasted tiger prawns with smoked whey, Westholme wagyu bavette with smoked harissa and kohlrabi, Noosa scallop with brown butter and Aleppo pepper, black barley tabouli with sumac and tomato, and Kishk cheesecake with warqa and pistachio. There’s double cause for celebration this week at Gerard’s Bistro, which is also commemorating the launch of The Heart of Hospitality – a collaboration with food writer Katrina Meynink and crowdfunded publisher Somekind Press – with a mezze banquet (featuring recipe highlights from the book) on Wednesday March 24. Tickets for that event are still available here.
In case you missed last week’s news bomb about Albion’s forthcoming food and lifestyle precinct last week, here’s the need-to-know details. The crew behind The Black Market, Collingwood Black Espresso & Bar and event space The Black Brisbane recently announced the first details for Craft’d Grounds, the brand-new 2600-sqm all-in-one hospitality hub opening in May. Looking to create an all-in-one destination for locals, Craft’d Grounds’ cavernous interior will house a craft-beer brewery, specialty espresso bar, street food and farmers market, patisserie, wine and cocktail bar, and live-music facilities, with street-art-lined laneways connecting the hub to its neighbouring venues. We’ve been told to expect something similar to Sydney’s Grounds of Alexandria, but with a distinctly Brisbane feel. We cannot wait to peek inside this one when it launches – rest assured we’ll have details on the hub’s individual operators in the coming weeks.
When the weather is as drizzly as it has been for the past week, we can’t help but crave a hearty Japanese curry. We often turn to Motto Motto’s karaage chicken curry when the hankering hits – and it seems like we’re not alone. The dependable eatery chain has sold more than half a million curries since the brand officially launched in 2014 and, to celebrate, all eight Motto Motto locations are selling its signature karaage curry today, Tuesday March 23, for just $1 a pop. This offer is only available while stocks last (and is limited to one curry per person), so if there was ever a reason to sneak out for an early lunch, this is it. Vegetarians are catered for too, with Motto Motto’s tofu and vegetable curry also included in the deal. Brisbane eaters can find Motto Motto locations at Westfield Carindale, Westfield Chermside, Westfield Garden City and Indooroopilly Shopping Centre.
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