In an area flush with good pasta and pizza, Gold Coast Italian restaurant Gemelli landed right in the thick of it – on the corner of McLachlan and James streets – towards the end of 2021.
But this 120-seat restaurant stands out among the precinct’s statement dining. It’s a much more family-oriented restaurant, with a warm and rustic space to match the uncomplicated selection of antipasti, pasta, Napoli-style pizza on offer. A fit-out includes timber frames and ceilings, and terracotta paving at the front section opening out onto James Street. Next door, Gemelli’s aperitivo bar offers a more cosmopolitan edge, with plenty of marble and mirrored surfaces.
To eat, you might start with woodfired Queensland king prawns with parsley, capers, garlic and chilli, or grilled calamari with a radicchio and roasted walnut salad. Follow up with mains such as NSW black Angus scotch fillet served with roasted potatoes, seasonal vegetables and salmoriglio dressing; or grilled Western Australian octopus with a potato, caper and chilli salad.
A lengthy pasta menu might include eight-hour oxtail and pork shin ragu rigatoni; a four-cheese gnocchi; or Queensland prawn spaghetti with zucchini, chilli and cherry tomatoes. A custom-made Forni Valoriani woodfired oven punches out classic pizzas such as margherita and capricciosa alongside more singular creations.
The 200-bottle wine list features small biodynamic Italian wines next to ballsier Australian shiraz and cabernets. There’s also a clutch of tap and bottled beer, plus Italian-leaning cocktails.