Toscano Bar & Kitchen brings Naples-inspired nosh and creative cocktails to The City
As we approach the mid-week hump, thoughts inevitably turn towards weekend plans. Looking for a new sipping spot to try? Toscano Bar & Kitchen – a glamorous Neapolitan-style parlour specialising in artfully crafted cocktails, imported and Italian-inspired wines and mouth-watering pizza-panino hybrids – officially opens today, Wednesday May 26. Here’s what you can expect …
Toscano Bar & Kitchen is, at its core, a family endeavour. Siblings Virginia and Antonio Toscano are the owners and operators of Brisbane City’s new chic watering hole and eatery at Old Mineral House on Edward Street (just around the corner from Walter’s Steakhouse). The Naples-born duo have spent the past decade living and working in Brisbane and now they’re looking to give back to their adopted home in the form of some quintessential Neapolitan hospitality. Toscano’s space, which previously housed Silver Fox Wine Bar, has been given a luxurious makeover – existing heritage elements have been used as a base for a glamorous old-meets-new overhaul. The dark aesthetic of the venue’s previous iteration has been removed, with Virginia drawing upon her interior-design experience to fashion a tastefully contrasting look across the bar and dining spaces – think chic black-and-white stripes and emerald green, marble-topped tables and soft leather-upholstered chairs, ornate chandeliers and vivid neon. What results is a charmingly eclectic and fetching venue where guests are free to peer at the Toscano’s selection of wine and salumi in two dedicated cabinets, perch at one of a scattered assortment of high-top tables over a grazing board, or settle in for a feast at the dining space or cushy lounge nook at the rear of the venue.
Antonio, who was recently a top drink slinger at Eagle Street’s Mr & Mrs G, lords over Toscano’s bar, skilfully harnessing every facet of his domain to create eye-catching elixirs – each as refreshing as they are attractive. While Toscano Bar certainly pays homage to the classics (the neon sign above the bar does say ‘But first… negroni’, after all), Antonio’s signature range of cocktails is well worth sampling. Our picks would be the Spritz & Roses (pink prosecco, pavan, rose water, grenadine and soda), the Fog in the Box (spiced rum, Don’s mix, chocolate bitters and smoke), and the Basil on Edward St. (gin mare, basil oil, elderflower, lime and rosemary). Toscano Bar’s wine list features a worldly array of varieties available by the glass and bottle, but those hunting an all-Italian experience can savour Sardinian vermentinos, Tuscan rosés, montepulciano d’Abbruzzo and barbarescos and barolos from Piedmont. Not a cocktail drinker? Non c’è problema! Italian beers from Menabrea, Peroni, Birra Moretti and Ichnusa Birra are available alongside a small raft of Australian craft brews and ginger beers. Seeing as Toscano Bar & Kitchen draws heavy influence from Naples, it’s only right that the edible offering features pizza. The menu boasts five kinds of pizze to choose from, including the classic margherita, decadent tartufo (truffle, pancetta and rosemary potatoes) and vegetarian-friendly parmigiana (eggplant, pomodoro, stracciatella and parmigiano), as well as some jaw-dropping panouzzi. This Neapolitan-style sandwich uses pizza dough as the bread (crispy on the outside, soft on the inside), and is stuffed with fillings such as Tamborine buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil, San Daniele prosciutto and fior di latte, Italian sausage and scamorza cheese, and caciocavallo. Those in more of a snacking mood can nibble on polenta bites topped with gorgonzola mousse and pancetta, fluffy focaccia, frittatina (a deep-fried arancini-style bite filled with bucatini and bechamel) and ricotta gnocchi with cherry tomato salsa and stracciatella.
Toscano Bar & Kitchen is now open to the public. Be sure to check out the Stumble Guide for operating hours and contact details.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.