After a number of big launches coming out of the Howard Smith Wharves camp, their long-awaited riverside dining establishment, ARC has opened.
A few key things to note about ARC Dining & Wine Bar: firstly, it’s technically two venues connected by an elegant outdoor courtyard of olive trees and succulents. Think balmy summer evenings in Europe and you get the gist. Secondly, it has had the magic design touch by none other than Anna Spiro and her team. (Her work over at HSW’s Mr Percival’s has been the talk of Brisbane since opening its doors at the end of 2018.)
ARC’s dining venue is a mix of old and new, texture and colour. Spiro has channelled her eclectic calling card, calling the project “…the embodiment of modern Brisbane: colourful, punchy, eclectic and chic,” mixing in incredible one-off pieces (including the Grazia & Co. Dita barstools, vintage black onyx marble centre table, one-of-a-kind artworks and Le Courbusier wall lights—interior design buffs, you will be in awe) with large dining tables of pink marble and hand-sourced seating, making the large open space feel at once intimate and full of character. In addition, the double height ceiling is delicately draped in custom fabric, designed by Anna herself. This is no ordinary restaurant space.
Featuring a 400-strong wine list, curated by award-wining Group Sommellier Ian Trinkle (of Aria fame) ARC is making a beeline to hold some of the rarest, most sought-after wines in the country. Timing-wise, ARC is in good company, becoming one of only a handful of award-wining wine bars in Brisbane.
Pairing this incredible wine list with food has been championed by breakthrough head chef, Alanna Sapwell. Single-handedly, Sapwell has created a menu that steers away from faddy food trends, instead opting for simplicity and an acute focus on locally and ethically sourced produce.
Hero dishes include Spanish Mackerel with zucchini, chilli and native ginger, pork and spent Mandarin salumi with coffee crack, Lamb with lavender and lamb fat caramels, and granny Smith and sunflower apple tart with lemon and honey.
Of the beautiful menu she says “our aim is to provide food that people feel great about. We feel really strongly about our use of ethically raised and sourced produce. We want diners at ARC to have an elevated dining experience while still making it fun,”.
The wine bar, in comparison, is pared back—minimal, even—featuring a small seated bar area and a handful of outdoor tables where guests can sample some of the best boutique wines in the country or ask the expert mixologist for a cocktail to pair with fresh oysters.
“ARC Wine Bar is working hand in hand to deliver the same experience as the restaurant” Sapwell says. “We take pride in showcasing our values in snack form at the bar while being able to enjoy our extensive wine list that captures a minimal intervention approach all while taking in the stunning views of Brisbane”.
The icing on ARC Dining cake (aside from the triple threat of food, the drinks and the interior design), however has to be the floor-to-ceiling glass windows that look out onto the Brisbane River. With uninterrupted views of the Story Bridge and the CBD, it makes for the perfect setting and basks the restaurant in natural light.
Tucked away at the quieter end of Howard Smith Wharves both ARC Wine Bar and ARC Dining have a very unique and elegant feel, far removed from the hustle of the wharf proper—and we’re here for its grown-up elegance.
ARC Dining is open Monday to Saturday 12pm-3pm, 5pm-10pm Saturday and 12pm-8pm on Sunday, while ARC Wine Bar is open Monday to Saturday 12pm-11:30pm and Sunday 12pm-10pm.
Image credit: provided, ARC