You might not be feeling romantic when you arrive, but fine food and fine wine under the twinkling lights on a warm Brisbane evening at The Chelsea Bistro will leave you in a pleasant state of mind where anything is possible.
The heritage listed Barracks building on Petrie Terrace is home to several good restaurants, Libertine, Peasant and Los Villannos Mexican Kitchen. The Chelsea's menu is best described as modern Australian with a deft twist that includes highlights including the spice of chimichurri, a touch of Italian with squid ink arancini and olives that are smoked in house.
If you are looking for value, the prix-fixe deal is hard to beat with two courses plus wine and coffee for $35.
From the prixe menu - the burrata came out with a creamy knot of cheese with the wonderful varigated colours of heirloom tomatoes doused with aged balsamic and several slices of sour dough toast. I followed it with the Vietnamese crispy duck salad which the chef kindly made without onion at my request. Together these dishes were a substantial meal, plus I enjoyed a glass of Redbank Long Paddock Chardonnay from Victoria's King Valley.
K2's inner man required some meat so his choice was the pan--seared eye fillet of beef with fresh vegetables and a jus. The shoestring fries came with lemon and rosemary salt.
The night ended with the mains as we sufficiently satisfied. However I have marked for future attention the zabagloine with grilled stone fruit and champagne custard.
During the day the walkway where the outdoor tables are located might be a busier thoroughfare, but at night it has a relaxed ambiance with twinking lights and verdant plants.
The Chelsea has been operating here since 2008 and it's easy to see why it's a popular choice with diners.
Ed+bK 5 star rating
Bottom line: Share plates $10, mains $30, dessert $14
Best tip: Check the Suncorp Stadium calendar before heading out to The Barracks at night. There's normally heaps of parking but things get crazy on game nights.