Arc Dining is a 100-seat restaurant and 140-seat wine bar at Howard Smith Whaves. It’s eye-poppingly sophisticated; the restaurant feels like a bright and airy garden pavilion. It’s full of cane and wrought-iron furniture, and soft furnishings done in colour and luscious prints.
Former Saint Peter head chef Alanna Sapwell returned home to Queensland to write a menu that aims to engage local suppliers and farmers. Sapwell is also trying to cut down on waste by ordering whole carcasses in some cases, selecting cuts for the restaurant before using the leftovers for the wine bar’s small plates and house-made charcuterie.
The restaurant menu leans towards seafood with dishes such as spanner crab plated with gala apple and cranberry hibiscus leaves. And Spanish mackerel served with zucchini, chilli and native ginger. Sapwell’s Arc Wine Bar menu features a bunch of unusual but simple snacks: try goose rillettes served with sour cherry and rye, or vinegar and saltbush pig ears.
It’s not quite fine dining, but it is refined. There’s table linen, table service, and knowledgeable staff, but it’s friendly and unpretentious.
The wine list involves more than 400 options. It focuses on lighter European-style wines with a particular lean towards producers that use sustainable, organic and minimal-intervention techniques.