Nobby Beach’s neighbourhood dining nook has a new resident!
The young Carney brothers, Paul plus identical twins, James and Alec, are the names and faces behind uber-successful Gemelli Italian. Most nights, their original Broadbeach-based restaurant is bursting at the seams with a healthy mix of tourists and locals. But for their second venture, they were in search of a smaller venue catering to the local market, and saw Nobbys’ blossoming foodie scene as the perfect fit.
You’ll find Gemellini (baby bro to Gemelli) a few doors north of Cambus Wallace, with discrete signage guiding the way to this pizzeria and wine bar. Dusky mood lighting bathes the intimate narrow space, with sleek detailing including a black granite bar and servery, wood panelling features, and a roughened tile floor.
Prized prosciutto legs are displayed proudly above the open-plan kitchen, where you can pull up a stool alongside and watch the chefs hand toss your pizza base. And with a massive Naples-imported forno (brick oven) as the kitchen centrepiece, it’s obvious Gemellini’s masterfully crafted wood-fired pizzas, with simple combinations of quality ingredients, will be the major drawcard.
With the kitchen central to the hearts and minds of Italian families, the Carney brothers were brought up under the guidance of their dearest Nonno. They’ve been crafting gnocchi and pasta sauces long before most of us learned how to correctly boil an egg.
Taking inspiration from their inherited recipes, the fare is a reflection of traditions from their Nonno’s heritage—the Abruzzo region of Italy. For the inexperienced, it may seem you need a crash course in Italian to decipher parts of the menu, but the ex-pat staff are quick to assist.
Gemellini’s paired-back menu focuses on shareable plates and easy eat-with-your-fingers-type nosh. Stand out dishes include the Melanzane Fritte, otherwise known as eggplant topped with Pecorino cheese and drizzled with honey and gorgonzola (mouth-watering, right?); while the Salumi e Formaggi (cured meats and cheese) platters will revolve as prosciutto legs are devoured and new varieties introduced. While not on the menu just yet, three pasta dishes will soon be added, also designed for family-style sharing.
We dived into the thin and crusty-based Carne pizza with pomodoro sauce, salsicce (a house-made fennel pork sausage), ham, and salami. Simple, authentic, and seriously tasty! And while we opted for the barman’s recommendation, the rose, why not pair your meal with a classic Italian cocktail like the barrel-aged Negroni or other creative cocktail curiosities. Or, better yet, try a Pallini Limoncello for your post-dinner digestif.
Having just opened the doors literally minutes before Metropolist came in for a cheeky looksee, the attentive service, warm atmosphere, and food presentation felt effortless and what you’d expect from a well-established restaurant, not a one-hour-old venture.
If you’re anything like majority of GCers, the list of places you are dying to try is an arm’s length long (and growing), but we think newly-opened Gemellini is definitely worth placing somewhere near the top. Bellissimo!
Where: 2247 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
When Brooke Darling is not travelling to far flung places or sailing around the world, she’s scouring the coast for the best ethnic food, new openings, and hidden gems, all in the name of research for Metropolist. She loves motorbike rides to the hinterland, learning (frustratingly) to surf, and will try any adventure sport at least once. Find her on Instagram @darlingisamrs
Photo Credit: Brooke Darling for Metropolist