The Hidden Pizzeria You’ll Wanna Hunt Down, Stat

By Brooke Darling
11th May 2017

When Italian fare is this good, it’s worth hunting down.

Which is exactly what you’ll need to do if you wanna try one of the best new Italian restaurants on the Gold Coast.

While so much focus has been on the southern end of late, brothers Paul, Alec and James Carney knew opportunity was knocking in the densely populated ‘burbs. And this is where they stumbled on a suburban gem—a gem that needed a serious spit and polish, but a gem nonetheless.

With two thriving restaurants under their belt, Gemelli Italian in Broadbeach and Gemellini in Nobby Beach, the brothers aspired to create a social meeting place for the neighbouring residents who loved to wine and dine, and didn’t always want to drive (or book a babysitter).

Guys, it’s time you said a big, fat hello to Gemelli Sorrento… It just sounds exotic; don’t you think?

Flipping the space in an impressive four weeks, the Carney brothers have delivered a super slick new dining experience for the hungry residents of Sorrento, Bundall, Broadbeach Waters, and surrounds. Basically, anyone who appreciates top-notch food, wine, and service, paired perfectly with a vibing atmosphere. You know, the whole package? These days you’ve gotta nail it all, if you want the customers to keep coming back and the good word to spread. And there’s no denying these young lads have perfected the magic formula!

You’ll feel right at home from the moment you walk inside, with the signature Gemelli-style splashed around the 100-seat pizzeria. Moody pendant lighting, dark wood furnishings, roughened exposed brick, polished concrete floors, and a stunning marble bar where you can pull up a stool and order homemade gnocchi and fine Italian wine; a Toscolo Chiani from Tuscany, perhaps?

Aside from their dark, dashing Italian good looks, the Gemelli brothers are the real deal. With family origins from the Abruzzo region in central Italy, they grew up in Griffith (a very Italian pocket of Oz, renowned for its fresh produce and wine). They were cooking before they could walk (okay, not really, but that would be super cute), and you’ve got to agree that they’ve helped inspire a renewed love for traditional Italian cooking and wood-fired pizza across the Coast.

Their dearest Nonna—who instilled the skills in their young hands and hearts, and who inspired their Gemelli empire from the get-go—lives just around the corner. She’s helped them set up the new venue and even made the first pot of sauce for their first dinner service! It’s a true family affair, which must be why we get the warm fuzzies from them, every time.

James modestly calls the new menu “small”—we’d say there’s still a tonne of options to ponder—a combined gathering of all the favourites from Gemelli Broadbeach and Gemellini Nobby Beach. We can vouch for the Rigatoni Amatricana, homemade pasta in a hearty pomodoro sauce with bursts of pancetta, served alongside the ridiculously tasty and traditional Pollo Funghi, a tender chicken breast bathed in a creamy mushroom sauce with broccolini spears and potatoes—like a warm European hug on a brisk May afternoon. Simply put, it’s “real Italian food, handmade with love”.

Gemelli Sorrento

Within arm’s reach of the cheffing team is a fragrant herb garden, already brimming with basil, rosemary, parsley, oregano, and strawberries. In the kitchen, the prized Napoli-imported Morello Forni (wood-fired oven) is fired up nightly to toss out soul-satisfying pizzas to the dining room and the adjoining pizza takeaway bar. With 12 pizzas on the menu, the decision ain’t easy. We’d go for the Griffiti with 24-month aged parma prosciutto, mushrooms and mozzarella, or the Pescatore with calamari, prawns, garlic, and more mozzarella. Mmmm, mozzarella.

If it’s not already obvious, we’re pretty taken with Gemelli’s latest offering, a lust that was tipped over the edge with mention of BYO. Say what?! With corkage at $5 per head (wine only), we’re thinking this is the time to dust off that special bottle you’ve being saving for that special occasion that never came. If you’re not that organised, they’ve got a stellar selection of Italian-imported wine and speciality cocktails to pair perfectly with your lovingly prepared meal.

Gemelli Sorrento is now open daily from 5:30pm, plus Sunday for lunch. And while these guys also offer home delivery via scooter, we’d totally recommend plugging the address into the GPS and hunting ‘em down for yourself. Bellissimo!

Where: Corner Campbell and Panitz Street, Sorrento

Image Credit: Hayley Williamson for The Urban List

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