28 Brisbane Street
The staff here is clearly aiming for silver service standards, and they’ve pretty much nailed it. It’s not something you see a lot of in little-old Lonnie – even Geronimo and Stillwater are on the relaxed side of silver.
The food ain’t cheap, as is to be expected at a lovely place like this. An entree will set you back $26-plus, and you’re looking at mid $40s for a main, but that’s not unusual anymore. When you consider that Jess struggled to get through two entrees (instead of the traditional entree/main combo) you can’t say the value isn’t there. The complimentary amuse-bouche of a shot of phenomenal pumpkin soup was a lovely way to begin.
(Have you ever noticed that in many restaurants the entrees tend to be so much more inventive and varied than the mains? We love the trend towards small plates for this reason. You get to sample five or six creations, not just two.)
We were particularly delighted to find our favourite winery on the drinks menu, Grey Sands. They’re one of the few Tassie vineyards who aren’t afraid of making heavier reds and they pull it off with aplomb. Anyone who says you can’t grow reds in our state should be poked in the eye with a cork from a 2010 Grey Sands merlot.
A beautiful cosy space in one of Launceston’s grand old buildings, Navaro’s is ideal for an intimate dinner. Unfortunately, the group of a dozen or so middle-aged men who rocked up halfway through our main course, after clearly having been on the turps all day – likely at an expensive golf course – didn’t get the memo. Even though they were on their best behaviour they still emanated the kind of background sonic boom that only a bunch of sloshed wealthy baby-boomer men can make. It overwhelmed the small space, much to the apparent helpless embarrassment of the staff and the annoyance of the rest of us. This is no one’s fault – not even the tipsy blokes’ – but you should be aware of the risk of having your quiet evening turn noisy if a big group shows up. Maybe choose somewhere esle around Christmas time