Appreciate your drop of vino poured with a backgrounder into its characteristics and origin? How about some friendly banter with the bartender and a sultry, intimate setting? Well then, you should definitely be setting your GPS south for Coolangatta, and its sassy new wine bar, Tasca.
Tasca, meaning ‘pocket’ in Italian, is the accumulation of years in the industry for southern GC local, Carlee Bufalino together with support of her biz partner Dayne Foggo. If you recognise her face, that’s because this girl knows her way around the hospo scene. Carlee can rattle off a whole bunch of fab Gold Coast restaurants and cafes she’s lent her skills to, but the only one that matters now is Tasca—her bae, the one she’s so darn smitten with.
Simple, elegant and inviting, Tasca uses a mix of white panelling, exposed brick, cement tones, dark wood and leather banquettes and booths to create a sophisticated space that’s like nothing else on Griffith Street.
The wine love is strong with this one, too. Italian, French and Spanish drops feature heavily on the refined menu, alongside small-batch regional Australian wines with a focus on organic, biodynamic and low intervention producers.
We get the feeling Tasca will be the kinda place you might ‘swing in for a quick drink’ and then—oops—stay for dinner (liquid or otherwise). With 40 well-configured seats in the tiny indoor-outdoor space, including 12 fronting the bar and three cosy booths, Carlee is pretty much a host-with-the-most as she gracefully flutters between tables, wine pours and cocktail shaking. All while her South American chef Nicolas Zas, who’s migrated north from Melbourne’s Stokehouse, dishes out share plate after plate from the compact kitchen.
A short yet unpretentious menu featuring tapas-style plates and reasonably-priced large plates (mains averaging just $26) will be changing often, which means we’d better hurry back if we want to dine again on homemade polenta crisps with mushroom and arrabbiata, wild tuna carpaccio with chunky avocado and capers, or the pillowy pumpkin gnocchi with basil pesto and goats cheese. All delicious, in case you were wondering.
When we visited last week the rain was pelting down sideways, while inside, Tasca was a intimate sanctuary. We’re already making plans to return for the full experience—to nab a sidewalk table in the late afternoon sun, with a plate of squid ink and prawn tagliolini or organic lamb leg with salsa verde, and paired with a couple of natural Italian vinos to toast to life on the GC and Coolangatta’s newest gem.
Where: 114 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
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Image credit: Brooke Darling for The Urban List