La Bella Cellar brings a bounty of cheese, wine and crafted cocktails to Burleigh Heads
With no obvious signage to speak of except for two tiny initials hovering overhead and one lonely cactus, whispers about the strikingly beautiful white-washed facade on Deodar Drive in Burleigh Heads have been circling for weeks. Well, friends, wonder no more – we can finally reveal the pretty new restaurant and bar is called La Bella Cellar and it officially opens today (Saturday December 12). Here’s everything you need to know about this dreamy newcomer …
Step through the timber doorway and immediately into a tiny cellar that quite literally surrounds you with wine (truly the stuff of dreams, unless you happen to be claustrophobic). Although it may be small in stature, it is indeed mighty and packs a serious punch in terms of its inventory. The 60-bottle cellar features predominantly Australian drops alongside varieties from Italy, Spain and France. Those with a penchant for orange wine and pet nats will be pleased to know their tastes are catered for with a few more on the horizon. Once you’ve ogled the shelves and maybe even selected a bottle (or two) to accompany you into the restaurant (a small corkage fee applies), venture through the clandestine door and into a speakeasy-style restaurant that has completely transformed the nook previously occupied by The Little Bar into a stunning Italian-inspired space that is guaranteed to have you dreaming of sojourns by the seaside. A cacti garden runs the length of the dining room that is dotted with no more than a handful of high and low tables with seating for 30 diners. La Bella Cellar is the work of long-time pals Josh Bailey (who also happens to own Studio Build, the company responsible for the impressive fit-out) and Adam Farrugia and is envisaged as a place for spirited conversation, bangin’ beats, tasty eats and even better wine (plus cocktails and beers).
If you were beginning to believe La Bella Cellar was purely a pretty face, think again. Curiously, the food menu was crafted to accompany the drinks (rather than the other way around) to allow the flavours of the wine to shine. Start with a selection of cicchetti (small plates) that include natural oysters with champagne vinaigrette, arancini stuffed with porcini mushroom and an entire section of the menu dedicated to cheese. Yes, you heard, eight different kinds of cheese to be exact, ranging from triple-cream brie from Adelaide Hills to Italian cave-aged Maffra Pyramid cheddar and bleu d’auvergne. Once you’ve had your fill of cheese (if that’s even a thing), there’s a scattering of perfectly crisp pizzas loaded with top-notch Italian toppings to munch. Behind the bar, head barman Aaron Howard is shaking up some seriously unique concoctions including The Vatican – a gin-based sip that features house-made honey rosemary syrup, green chartreuse and lemon and accompanied by a plume of smoked rosemary to complete the sensory experience, and the Mamma Mia Margarita (pineapple-and-jalepeno-infused tequila, agave and lime).
Keen to step inside the cellar? Skip over to our Stumble Guide for opening times.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.