Pavement Whispers: Volume 356 May 3
From news of an inventive pop-up restaurant concept to a wine-centric pivot for a Stanthorpe institution, The Weekend Edition is always on the search for the latest food news in Brisbane, dedicated to ensuring its readers are in the know. When we put our ears to the pavement this week, this is what we found out …
When it comes to starting up a new hospitality venture, there are a few paths one can take. Most operators elect to open a permanent site before gradually building its customer base. Others like to generate a following first through pop-up appearances, honing the concept across a string of events. Josie’s, a new culinary concept from chef John Speranza and Amy Harker, is taking the latter path. With years of hospitality experience under their belts (John was formerly executive chef at Malt Dining and Amy has worked in front-of-house roles for several fine diners and bars), the duo have long been eager to kickstart their own restaurant project via a series of playful pop-ups. Josie’s, named in honour of John’s nonna, will be continuously evolving, with John and Amy eager to shake up the offering and theme every event – think 12-course tasting menus, boozy brunches and paired bar snack and cocktail experiences. The locations will vary too, though John and Amy have confirmed that the first Josie’s pop-up is looking to take place at Mongrel in Milton (another pop-up-to-permanent success story) in either late-July or early-August. While John is keeping details of the culinary offering close to his chest, he has hinted at an eagerness to blend his Italian roots with touches of Korean and South American cuisine as well as a desire to use as many native Australian ingredients as possible. We’ll have more information on the first Josie’s pop-up soon!
The Barrelroom at Ballandean Estate
As the Granite Belt continues to flourish and evolve into one of the country’s burgeoning wine-making regions, some of the area’s culinary institutions are making moves to reflect the growth of the local viticulture industry. The team behind Ballandean Estate Wines south of Stanthorpe has announced that it will be converting its signature restaurant The Barrelroom into the region’s first wine lounge. Ballandean Estate’s owner, fourth-generation vigneron Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi, has sought to enhance the cellar-door experience and capitalise on the recent increase in tourism to the area post the easing of pandemic restrictions. A refurbishment will take place in few month’s time, when the restaurant’s fixtures will be exchanged for a rustic and moody aesthetic comprised of leather lounges, a roaring fireplace, mirrors and oak barrels. Although the kitchen will no longer be tasked with the execution of a dine-in menu, guests will still be able to snack on luxurious platters while they sip on a flight of Ballandean Estate vino. The last dining service at The Barrelroom will take place on June 27, before the space reopens as a wine lounge in late-July.
Lune’s monthly specials
It’s the start of a new month, which means one thing – Lune Croissanterie has a new batch of specials available for this month only! The chefs at the South Brisbane pastry spot have outdone themselves this year with a salivation-worthy array of treats, led by a Persian Love Cake croissant made in honour of Mother’s Day. Lune will be hawking this twice-baked croissant filled with rosewater pistachio frangipane and a slab of Persian love cake (topped with slivered pistachios, pearl sugar, rosewater buttercream and dried rose petals) from May 6–8. If you’ve already got your Mother’s Day gifting sorted, perhaps you’d be more inclined to nab a pina colada cruffin (filled with Malibu pineapple jam, whipped coconut cream and dehydrated pineapple), a potato-and-sage danish (glazed with sage-and-rosemary-infused brown butter), or a Lune-style Neenish Tart. If you’re like us, you’re already planning your next Lune visit!
Salt Meats Cheese and Fable Food Co’s vegan dinner
Paging all of our plant-based pals – Salt Meats Cheese is teaming up with innovative pioneer of vegan cuisine Fable Food Co to host a collaborative dinner on Tuesday May 17. This five-course vegan Italian banquet dinner will see all meat ingredients exchanged for Fable’s all-natural, chef-quality plant-based products. These substitutes are made using umami-packed shiitake mushrooms, which are – in addition to being tasty – free from GMOs, preservatives and artificial ingredients. The menu will feature plant-based interpretations of some quintessential Italian dishes, including polpette, arancini, lasagne, gnocchi and red-based pizza. Tickets to this Fable-centric feast (taking place at SMC’s Newstead and Surfers Paradise locations) are $49 per person and can be secured here.
Betty’s Bestie Day
As much as we love chowing down on a burger alone, dining is always more fun with a pal. Coastal-inspired burger-slinging crew Betty’s Burgers is celebrating the joy of friendship with its once-a-year Bestie Day celebration, which is taking place this Thursday May 5. From open until close, burger-hungry hordes can take advantage of a sweet two-for-one deal on Betty’s delicious burger range – that includes the Betty’s Deluxe, Crispy Chicken Supreme or the Betty’s Classic Vegan, available dine-in or takeaway. Grab your favourite foodie pal (or just work up a hunger for two) and find your closest Betty’s location ASAP!
If you’ve heard something that’s worth mentioning in The Weekend Edition’s Pavement Whispers, email [email protected].
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