Enjoy old-school Euro vibes and stellar drops at Fortitude Valley’s Mosconi Restaurant & Wine Bar
Brothers Daniel and Mark Rotolone are two culinary figures that would be familiar to patrons of New Farm’s Vine Restaurant. The Moray Street eatery is known for its flavoursome take on modern Italian, earning a cult following since opening its doors in 2005. Mosconi Restaurant & Wine Bar is the Rotolone’s newest venture – an intimate and beautifully appointed dining destination sitting snugly on Arthur Street. Mosconi is now open, and is pairing its smart interpretation of European fare with some truly excellent wines.
It can’t be easy operating a restaurant for thirteen odd years, but Daniel and Mark Rotolone have made it look so. Their New Farm diner Vine Restaurant has been successfully operating since the mid-2000s, and now the brother’s newest venture is aiming for similar longevity. The original concept for the venue was decidedly different to the end result, as Mark first toyed with the idea of a cafe-style concept to complement Vine’s night-time trade. After spotting a vacant tenancy on Arthur Street next to King Arthur (the former home of Leona Edmiston), Mark and long-time Vine sommelier Emer Landgraf discussed the possibility of opening a wine bar instead. A research trip to Melbourne helped the crew hone in on an idea that would work in the James Street area, eventually settling on a hybrid concept that offered opportunities for casual and special-occasion dining, where top-notch wines and choice cocktails flowed as liberally as lively conversation. Paul Fairweather of Fairweather Architecture came on board to take care of all things fit-out and documentation, delivering a conceptual and spatial design of the venue, floor plan and built items like the wine rack and banquette. Meredith Burke of ByBurke Design was recruited to help realise the interior aesthetic, implementing a lived-in and timeless old-school European vibe across ground floor and mezzanine levels. Thus, Mosconi Restaurant & Wine Bar was born.
Catherine Anders (formerly of Il Centro) was handpicked to lead the kitchen team, putting in place a menu of similarly European-inspired fare. Mosconi’s menu gives diners the choice of light grazing or feasting, with a range of small and large plates, sides and desserts offering plenty of variability. Smaller dishes such as Vanella burrata with confit leeks, Brisbane Valley quail with beetroot carpaccio and gorgonzola, and Fremantle octopus with cannellini beans and salmoriglio are early highlights. As for the larger plates, its hard to look past Mosconi’s goats-curd gnocchi, homemade pipe rigate with duck ragu and the 300g sirloin, which comes served with a talgeggio croquette and wild mushrooms. If you’ve room for dessert, the fig with burnt meringue and lemon curd will end the meal on a perfectly sweet note, but we can’t fault you if you’re more eager to squeeze in another glass of wine instead. Speaking of which, Mark and Emer have created a free-wheeling drinks list with no distinct ‘why’ behind it, rather a simple circumvention of boundaries. Italian varietals share list space with traditional French drops and new-wave Californian wines, with a ever-changing list of wines by the glass offering scope for experimentation. Rounding out the drinks list is a clutch of Australian and Italian beers, and some savvy takes on traditional cocktails.
For more information on Mosconi Restaurant & Wine Bar, check out the Stumble Guide.
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