When Northshore Group redeveloped Fortitude Valley's Stewart and Hemmant building in 2021, one of its first tenants was Rosmarino, a 55-seat restaurant and wine bar that sits plum on the McLachlan street side of the building, which dates back to 1890 and formerly housed the long-forgotten Great Wall Shopping Centre.

Rosmarino is all high ceilings, tall and heavily framed windows, and concrete floors. Working with Life House Interiors, owners Lauren Smith and Andrea Gatti have added personality to the space with mangrove-green walls, vintage light fittings, and old family photos dotted about the place. Out the back is a pokey courtyard. All up, the intended effect is to feel as though you’re coming home to nonna’s house.

The menu is all about elevated Italian comfort food – think antipasti, house-baked breads, handmade pastas, and main dishes like 24-hour slow-cooked lamb belly with radish, salsa verde and mustard greens. This is refined food – but delivered with a traditional twist.

Still, it’s wine that arguably comes first at Rosmarino. Smith and Gatti started out with a list of 150 bottles, with a long-term vision of 800 or so. Their focus is on Italian varietals and expressions from Mount Etna, in particular. Many are biodynamic or sustainable, and can’t usually be found elsewhere – even in a good bottleshop – due to limited availability.

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Updated: July 28th, 2023

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