La Costa Restaurant brings the tastes of the Italian seaside to Fortitude Valley
After a staggered-yet-steady revitalisation process that has transformed Foresters Hall building on Brunswick Street, the team behind La Costa Bar, Cielo Rooftop Bar and La Valle has today – Friday February 5 – unveiled the final piece of the puzzle. La Costa Restaurant is the culinary hub’s dining centrepiece, taking cues from the Italian coast for its seafood-heavy menu and relaxed Riviera-style interior.
While most of us spent January gently easing ourselves into 2021, Stefano di Blasi, Edoardo Perlo and the team at La Costa have been flat chat realising a bold vision. Since November 2020, the crew (which includes the team from Sydney’s Maybe Sammy) has been planning and executing a substantial step-by-step overhaul of Foresters Hall, the stately structure that sits on the corner of Brunswick Street and Alfred Street. In December we saw the launch of La Costa Bar (which bridged Foresters Hall proper and the lobby of Accor’s FV by Peppers hotel) and sun-soaked sky-high cocktail spot Cielo Rooftop Bar. In January the team followed up with wine bar and bottle shop La Valle, before at last turning its attention to the spacious dining room that occupied the building’s corner. Today marks the completion of Stefano and Edorardo’s plan, as La Costa Restaurant officially opens its doors to the public for dinner.
Being the largest of the four venues, it’s no wonder that La Costa Restaurant was left until last, but the eatery shouldn’t be considered the crown jewel of the collection, rather the missing piece. Each stage has been underscored by a conscious effort to evoke the elemental magic of Liguria – the region that sits on Italy’s northwest coastline. Where Cielo draws inspiration from the yellow Ligurian sun and blue sky above, and La Valle draws upon the earthy richness of the region’s valleys, La Costa Restaurant and Bar inhales the salty coastal breezes flowing in from the Ligurian Sea. This inspiration has been translated tangibly into the restaurant’s visual aesthetic via an emphasis on space and light, achieved by the use of a sea green and cream colour palette, living plants, rattan chairs, and light-brown leather coating the booths at the entry. The design, when paired with large exposed-brick-encased windows, creates a sense of the outside existing indoors. In its current state the restaurant layout offers seating for 80 (there’s plenty of elbow room between tables), though the neighbouring lobby bar amply caters for overflow, doubling as a pre-dinner waiting area or spot for post-feast nightcaps.
While the space was being refashioned the kitchen team was assembling the menu, which Stefano describes as something akin to a greatest hits of dishes from his other restaurants Eterna and Salt Meats Cheese, with La Costa sitting at a midpoint between the two. The coastal inspirations are evident across the menu, as it boasts a bounty of seafood. Dishes like paprika-spiced calamari, whole baby barramundi, a huge plate of mussels served in white wine with Italian sausage, Moreton Bay bug spaghetti and gin-and-beetroot-cured salmon bruschetta will prod the pleasure centres of pescatarians. Additionally, nine pizzas, pappardelle bathed in truffle cream, pumpkin-and-sage ravioli, harissa-baked heirloom carrots and sirloin steak marinated in garlic and chilli offers plenty for a variety of feasters. The drinks list, overseen by the team from Maybe Sammy, has been designed to complement the fare – from the show-stopping cocktails to the wine list. Speaking of wine, soon patrons will be able to visit La Valle and select a wine from its 150-strong collection to enjoy with dinner. What’s more, the crew has concocted its own limoncello (labelled Limon-Cielo in tribute to the rooftop bar), which is an ideal finisher to any sized meal.
La Costa Restaurant is now open to the public. For booking, menu and contact details, head to the Stumble Guide.
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