If you, like us, having been watching and waiting to see what’s happening at the much anticipated Stewart & Hemmant development on the corner of McLachlan and Marshall Streets in the Valley, prepare to be amazed. The first of what we hope will be many food and retail venues to hit the precinct, Rosmarino Restaurant and Bar has now opened its doors, and trust us when we say you need to book yourself a table stat.
Behind the fully restored brick facade, this new Italian spot is as good looking inside as it is out. With vintage looking lights hanging from high ceilings, exposed brick walls, pops of sage green and a glass-walled wine cellar in pride of place in the centre of the venue, Rosmarino is a stunner, and the perfect spot for an intimate date night.
You can start things off in the bar (or just visit the bar alone—no booking necessary), where high windows let in lashings of natural light before the sun goes down. Here it’s all about salumi, formaggi and freshly baked bread (made with a five-year-old sourdough starter) to pair with a cocktail or generous glass of wine. The cheese list is lengthy, featuring everything from buffalo brie and triple cream camembert to truffle pecorino and old Amsterdam gouda—you definitely won’t be able to stop at just one. Nibble it alongside mini focaccia with rosemary, or sliced sourdough with whipped prosciutto butter if you want to feel really luxe.
However with Italian-born head chef Dario Manca in the kitchen, ex-head chef of Za Za Ta and 2015’s Best Young Chef of the Year, you won’t want to stop at bar snacks. Take a seat in the main dining room and properly start your feast with antipasti like duck tonnato—roast duck slices with tomato sauce, caper berries and garlic oil croutons, or kingfish crudo with green apple and burnt buttermilk.
Pasta is all made in house, and is decidedly more creative than the fettuccine carbonara you usually order. Here you’ll want to dig into the signature dish of culurgiones cacio nduaja—dumpling-like filled pasta stuffed with potato and pecorino cheese and topped with burnt butter and nduja-infused oil, or the crespelle ai funghi with its layers of savoury crepe, porcini mushrooms, taleggio, parsley oil and crunchy lardo.
Hope you’ve save room for mains though, because you won’t want to skip out on the lambetta—rolled lamb belly slow-cooked for 24 hours and served with salsa verde and radish, best ordered with a side of crispy triple cooked potatoes and roasted cauliflower with gorgonzola. If you can fit anything else in after that, there’s always a weekly rotating dessert—and Manca’s tiramisu just happens to be the best we’ve ever tasted.
While you dine, you can sip on one of the many cocktails—there’s four different negronis on the list as well as apertifs, spritzes and Italian classics—or just pop a bottle of wine with a recommendation from the sommelier.
Rosmarino is open now, and you can find out everything you need to know here.
If it’s a quick breakfast you’re after, check out Teneriffe’s new bagel spot.
Image credit: NIRA Creative