Pilgrim, the new Latin-American eatery from the Fogata crew, opens in Petrie Terrace
When Fogata Latin Fusion closed its beloved James Street-based restaurant in early 2020, it left many eaters – especially those in Brisbane’s Latin-American community – crestfallen. Thankfully, forlorn foodies were given hope in the promise that the Fogata team would return in the not-too-distant future to plate up its heralded menu of Latin-American fare once more. The team finally made good on its promise last month, opening sibling restaurant Pilgrim at The Barracks in Petrie Terrace – an intimate dining spot where mezcal and pisco flows and plates of ceviche, chargrilled calamari and churrasco are devoured.
Had 2020 gone differently, Fogata Latin Fusion might still be slinging jalapeño poppers and pão de queijo from its lively locale on James Street. The pandemic struck roughly around the same time Fogata’s owners, Brazilian ex-pats Gustavo and Andre Goncalves, were negotiating a lease renewal that would have seen the restaurant stick around for another three years. Instead, with uncertainty mounting by the day, the brothers opted to close, vowing to make a comeback with a bigger and better concept. The duo’s new restaurant, Pilgrim, is certainly bigger – it inhabits the site formerly home to Peasant, its spacious digs doubling the capacity of Fogata across interior and al fresco portions. But it wasn’t just the size of the venue that attracted Gustavo and Andre – its rustic heritage-listed appeal aligned perfectly with the old-world Latin American vibe they wanted to create, while the precinct’s car park (and its two hours of free parking) made it a convenient spot for regulars and newcomers to access. After almost two years of dormancy, the team was conscious about ensuring any rebrand retained the essence of Fogata while still creating a sense of newness with its conceptual refresh. Much of the site’s structural fixtures remain untouched, but Gustavo and Andre have added touches of Latin-American-inspired decor (including talavera tiles and Spanish colonial-era windows behind the bar) for some cosmetic flair. The venue’s centrepiece is the 12-metre-long bar, which features a gleaming tiered and mirrored back bar – stocked with a glinting array of illuminated spirit bottles – and stools for those keen to pop in for a snack and a cocktail before seeing a movie around the corner. A coffee window opens to the laneway, with an espresso machine pouring cups of caffeine from Five Senses.
Fans of Fogata’s menu can rest easy knowing that 60 percent of Pilgrim’s menu is comprised of Fogata’s crowd-favourite dishes – we’re talking fresh Hiramasa kingfish ceviche, prosciutto-wrapped jalapeño poppers, feijoada (clow-cooked black-bean stew with rump cap, pork belly, chorizo and bacon) and charred whole capsicum stuffed with pulled pork and quinoa. While Pilgrim builds on a foundation of traditional recipes, chef Andre also takes an experimental approach to some Latin-American dishes – the Brazilian crab sliders feature soft-shell crab served between slices of Brazilian-style cheese bread, while the Maduro gnocchi is made from ripe plantain and a beurre noisette verjus reduction. Oysters are also a new addition to the offering, served either with lemon or seasonal Pilgrim style. With more room behind the bar for drinks slinging, cocktail pro Gustavo is relishing the chance to expand Pilgrim’s beverage program. The offering starts with sangria, pisco sours and margaritas served three ways, before segueing into a selection of signatures including a martini al pastor (made using a carnitas-infused mezcal that evokes the flavours of a taco), a cachaça negroni and an espresso martini made with house-made coffee tequila. Spirit lovers can also sip on flights of rum, cachaça, tequila, pisco and mezcal and raicilla. Pilgrim’s wine list is flush with vino from lauded Latin American growing regions, with Argentinian and Chilean wines well represented alongside a selection of Australian and New Zealand drops. Pilgrim has launched a concise lunch menu featuring tacos, nachos, Brazilian-style shrimp curry, Argentinian choripan sandwiches and grilled-eggplant salad, while a breakfast service will be added in the near future.
Pilgrim is now open to the public – if you’re planning a visit, be sure to check opening hours, contact details and menu information in the Stumble Guide.
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