There’s no doubt that 2018 is a banner year for the Gambaro Group. The opening of its elegant new restaurant Persone on Wednesday September 5 follows on from the June opening of Black Hide by Gambaro at Treasury Brisbane. As one of the first marquee openings at the anticipated Brisbane Quarter development, Persone marks the Gambaro family’s first foray into Italian cuisine – a celebration of the clan’s heritage stretching back to family patriarch Michael Gambaro’s upbringing in Calabria. John, Frank and Donny Gambaro have overseen the creation of the concept (with insight provided by their father Michael), drawing upon family recipes as inspiration. Situated on level two of Brisbane Quarter’s dining precinct, the restaurant shares an impressive view of Brisbane River – stretching from GOMA on one end across to River Quay and beyond.
As one of Persone’s greatest assets is undoubtedly its location, great care has been taken to capture the stunning panoramic views wherever possible. Plus Architecture has crafted a design concept that blends sophistication with functionality, inspired by Italy’s winding laneways and famed dining pockets that are stumbled upon mostly by chance. Textured stucco walls and neon signage are complemented by bespoke globe lights reminiscent of streetlamps, while curved metal screens guide diners from the entry past the private dining suite and luxurious bar, along the wrap-around balcony through to the main dining room, where vertical mirrors offer a glimpse of the view from every seat in the house.
The food and drink
While classic Italian is key to Persone’s menu, the kitchen team have gone to great lengths to ensure each dish breaks the mould of tradition. Head chef Shane Veivers (formerly of Ristorante La Famiglia) and executive chef Lukas McEwan are overseeing a menu of regional favourites brought to life with modern techniques and high-quality produce. The menu traverses Italy’s famous regions from Sicily and Naples through to Tuscany and Milan, with specialty ingredients imported from Bologna, Parma, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and more. Persone’s opening menu is broken up into seven categories – crudi, antipasti, primi, secondi, pizze, contorni and dolci, with a smaller bar menu also available for casual eating. The menu is heroed by imaginative dishes including the tuna crudo with negroni syrup, the rabbit ragu with percorino and herb crumb, crumbed veal cutlet with lemon and rocket, and the Bistecca alla Fiorentina, which continues the Gambaro’s famed steak lineage in the form of a one-kilogram T-bone that has been aged for three weeks. Another key element of the Gambaro Group’s wheelhouse is wine, and Persone’s stores (overseen by ex-esquire sommelier Antoine Heurtier) are overflowing with celebrated Italian varietals and more obscure selections. More than 120 labels are on offer, with the vineyards of Piedmont and Sicily sharing space on the list. Diners looking for a sip beyond vino can treat themselves to one of six kinds of spritzers, dozens of top-shelf spirits, and imported and local beers.
Persone is now open to the public for lunch and dinner. For booking details and contact information, seek out Persone in the Stumble Guide.