Walking into Florentine Italian Grill and Wine Room is much how you imagine stepping into a restaurant in the heart of Tuscany. Bottles of barolo and brunello line dark timber shelves, and old wine barrels decorate the walls. The venue itself is small but not over-crowded, a place where people come together to share good food and wine – just as they do in Italy.
Newstead’s first steakhouse opened on Kyabra Street in late October. It’s from Brisbane restaurateur Gianni Greghini, who runs Gianni’s Kitchen next door and Gusto da Gianni at Portside.
Florentine Italian Grill and Wine Room claims it’s the first place in Queensland to serve bistecca alla fiorentina using the same beef as they do in Florence in Tuscany. The steak is produced using Chianina cattle, the largest breed in the world.
The restaurant sources its meat from Victorian farm Isola Chianina, which imported the genetics to Australia in the 1970s and now breeds full-blood Chianinas. Florentine Italian Grill and Wine Room manager Les Kostoglou says they wanted to provide a point of difference from other steakhouses.
“People travel from all over the world to go to Tuscany to try this meat and now you can travel to Newstead in Brisbane and have the same experience,” he says. “We’ve had a few people who have dined on the Chianina cattle in Italy and they said it just brought back the memories of when they had it overseas.”
The restaurant’s signature dish is shaped like a T-bone, ranges in size from 1.2 to 1.4 kilograms and is designed to be shared. There are other cuts available and the beef also pops up in dishes such as Tuscan slow-cooked ragu and beef tartare.
Kostoglou says the restaurant is focussed on bringing people together to have fun. “You can come here and have a single meal yourself or you can get the Tuscan experience and have all the dishes on the centre of the table to share,” he says.
Florentine Italian Grill and Wine Room
5 Kyabra Street, Newstead
(07) 3180 4466
Mon to Sat 5.30pm–9.30pm