With a backdrop of an Italian laneway, a waiter of definite Italian descent and plate full of pasta, I could easily dream that I was in Italy.
Cleverly painted frescos on the walls of Gianni's Kitchen in Newstead match the food when it comes to authentic Italian flavour, giving diners a virtual holiday as part of their meal. No surprise this new cafe/restaurant/deli comes from established Brisbane restauranteur, Gianni Greghini and head chef Rossano Tantulli of Gusto da Gianni at Portside Hamilton.
Located just off busy Commercial Road in the Newstead end of Fortitude Valley, the Kyabra Street venue will be a hit with local workers during the day and the growing band of inner city dwellers taking up spots in the area's new apartment buildings in the evenings.
New Farm local Melissa Telecican suggested the visit based on a previous dining experience and Gianni's Kitchen lived up to her expectations.
Melissa has a history in hospitality and is writing a book for small business owners More Customers, More Profits: 7 steps to success in your Restaurant or Cafe. The book shares mistakes and lessons learned from owning her own restaurant, along with insights from successful business owners like coffee king Phillip di Bella, Deborah and Bien Peralta of Dello Mano, Amanda and Larry Hinds of Indulge Cafe & Bistro, CEO of Restaurant and Catering Australia, John Hart and me! Stay tuned for more information on Melissa's book launch which is planned for April.
Gianni's Kitchen is a large venue with a restaurant on one side, a deli and bottle shop on the other, and outdoor seating overlooking the footpath linking the two.
The deli is a full of Italian goodies and is certainly worth a visit for the fresh pasta and Italian pastries alone. There are walls filled with pantry staples and a cold cabinet dedicated to Italian meats and sausages. The authentic product line up is the result of 'meticulous research in Italy' which is a boon both for Brisbanites and the person who did the research!
Gianni's menu includes everything you'd expect from arancini and calamari fritti to ravioli and lasagna. I was impressed by the amount of seafood in the lingua di passero alla pescatora and the depth of flavour in the rich tomato sauce. The pasta is freshly made in the deli side.
There's a shiny red tiled Beech oven pushing out Neopolitan style pizza with a wide selection on offer including children's pizzas and pizza by the slice. Takeaway also is available with pizzas priced around $17.
The dessert selection was from a specials board and was the only part that didn't exceed expectations. Both the Millefoglie di Nutella Al Caramello and the classic Torta Della Nonna were pleasant but not outstanding.
Best tip: Parking can be an issue in the area so plan ahead here.
Best for: Lovers of Italian food, families, local residents and workers.
Bottom line: Antipasti around $16, Piatti from $23 - $33, pizzas $22, desserts $12.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Melissa Telecican