Italian Food Restaurant
After Happy Boy made the move to the far end of Fortitude Valley, it allowed brothers Cameron and Jordan Votan to very efficiently open something new in the original site. The Spring Hill warehouse space is now home to Italian Food Restaurant. An unpretentious venue serving up no fuss, family-style food showcasing lesser-known regions of Italy. You won’t find a focus on pizza and pasta here; think quality produce and proteins such as insalata di carne crudu; a beef-eye round with olive and parmesan toast; and cappelletti, a pork-filled pasta in beef broth with silverbeet and mushroom. As always with the Votans the wine list is carefully curated. Wines are Australian but geared towards Italian varietals, with rotating “by the glass” options available.
This is not your typical fish and chip shop. Ol’ School’s menu might be no fuss but everything except the ketchup is made in-house and complimentary pickles and salt are all part of the table service. Each day the fish is whatever is freshest at the markets – battered or grilled with either a side of salad or what has to be a new contender for the best hand-cut chips in town. Other options include a truffle chip butty (chips and truffle mayo in a milk bun), dim sums and fish tacos. There’s also a $35 shared feast if you have company. Pirate Bay, Bintang and PBR beers, a short list of wines by the glass and cocktails are on offer too.
Newstead’s newest poke joint takes on the popular food trend with an elevated twist. Set in the Haven Precinct alongside Salt Meats Cheese and Betty’s Burgers, this sleek venue turns a quick meal into a night out. For owner Sam Demetriou, produce is the key. Careful assembly keeps the elements separate rather than turning it into some form of salad, guests pouring over their own dressing to prevent sogginess. Think turmeric-coconut rice; proteins such as prawns, raw kingfish or tofu; and heaps of fresh add-ons such as enoki mushroom, avocado, pickled ginger and nori. Not feeling a bowl? Try some crispy nori tacos for a truly original fusion.
Banter Bar & Seafood
The family behind the iconic Kangaroo Point pub, Pineapple Hotel, have opened Banter, a smaller venue just across the road. The renovated Queenslander is now home to a trendy bar serving up local and imported beers, rotating feature wines and carafes of shared cocktails. But it’s the food that counts: instead of small bar snacks, Banter is serving up a very modern take on fish and chips. There are Pacific oysters with pomegranate mignonette and lemon, a prawn cocktail served with avocado and a Banter house sauce, prawn and “posh fish finger” sandwiches and various choices for fish and burgers. To top it all off the space opens up to a beautiful, breezy back deck, reminiscent of your best mate’s beach house.
Stavros the Greek
The latest endeavour from Renata Roberts joins the Kenmore strip alongside sister venues, Pizzeria Violetta and Sichuan Bang Bang. The restaurant is set in the steely blues and polished greys of the Greek Islands, featuring high ceilings, louvre windows and outdoor seating. On the menu is a range of traditional Greek offerings including souvlaki with options of lamb, chicken or pork belly; and gyros with the pita bread made in-house by head chef Josh Ingliss. Within the venue sits Sunset, a fully-fledged bar set in the peachy colours of a Mediterranean sunset. You can sip on a selection of Greek wines, something from the extensive cocktail list or dip into the “make your own gin” section.