Buona sera, bellas! An all-new venue has hit Brisbane, and with it comes the passion, warmth and tastes of Italy. Taking over the space left by Mighty Mighty, Casa Nostra has opened in the Valley’s M&A Lane with the goal to shovel bucketloads of authentic, handmade Italian delights into expecting Brisbane mouths.
Owners Biagio and Sarah Biuso aren’t newcomers to the Italian food game, having previously brought us Biagio in Red Hill and other spots around the country including Alberto’s Trattoria in high-profile Bondi. Their new venue is designed to be as warm and welcoming as their own home, reminiscent of a Tuscan vineyard with wallpaper subbing in for a real Italian view.
The sizzling new kitchen will be handcrafting a line up of authentic Italian cuisine with a difference, with carb-loading opportunities abounding from seafood, meat, pastas, pizzas and (of course) desserts. Blending family recipes and creative modern ideas, everything on the menu will be made in house, from the fresh pasta to the flavoursome pizza sauces, using local, seasonal ingredients. But really, if there’s carbs involved, we’re in.
From fresh grilled scallops and sautéed prawns to handmade fettucine stirred through with Biago’s secret recipe Sicilian sauce, it will all be worth ditching the diet for. Start with antipasti plates of flash fried calamari and mussels served in white wine sauce, and move on to main courses like slow roasted pork belly or braised lamb shank with creamy mashed potatos and sides. Winter comfort food much?
Pizzas come with a tomato or cheese base, and you’ll be hard pressed to choose between toppings like the pollo with fior di latte, chicken, potatoes onion and rosemary or the cheesy quattro formaggi with fior di latte, gorgonzola, asiago and taleggio. But no good Italian family would let someone go to bed without dessert, and Casa Nostra is no different. Expect lashings of chocolate, Italian liqueur, cream, and more chocolate, and you won’t leave disappointed. You may need to waddle to the car, though.
Every Italian meal deserves to be paired with its wine counterpart, and Casa Nostra is well and truly ahead of our boozy thoughts. While the barrels on the walls may not be real, bottles of wine line the walls behind the counter, ready to be poured alongside hearty red sauces or light seafood dishes.
If you’re ready to say ‘Bellissimo!’ and welcome a new Italian food baby to the family, you’ll find Casa Nostra in the M&A Lane at 100 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley.
Words by Samantha Chariton
Images by Judit Losh