LARGE MENU OFFERING WITH MODERN ITALIAN TWIST
Noosa is blessed with an array of fine dining venues and one Italian-inspired spot is wooing diners with its flare, sleek decor and exceptional fare.
Locale puts a modern twist on authentic Italian cuisine and showcases fresh produce prepared by experienced chefs.
Ambience and appeal
Rio and Amanda Capurso moved from one end of Hastings St to the other when they vacated Lindonis to open Locale in late 2013.
Partnering with the Ogilvie Group, the fit-out is dark but luxe. Locale achieves a light and airy feel during the day with streetfront lounges and seating and at night the sleek, modern design is softened by clever lighting choices.
The signage is almost non-existent and the restaurant is tucked away, but if you can find the French Quarter you’ll be able to find this restaurant.
There are plenty of diners in the early evening and there is the murmur of couples and small groups enjoying dinner conversation.
No complaints here, just praise for a well-run restaurant.
The only detracting feature was the old and well-used dessert menus which have had a good life but are looking a bit shabby now.
Staff are all well-presented in modernlooking uniforms with bib aprons all in keeping with the venue.
Tables are cosy and bordering on being small. It made it a bit of a challenge to share meals on them.
If you dine as a couple, expect your neighbours to be close by.
Glassware is good, as is the crockery, but the cutlery seemed a bit light compared with the quality of the crockery and meals.
We were greeted by a big smile from the restaurant manger who made us feel welcome.
Water was offered promptly and gave the feeling that these waiters knew what they are doing.
Points were deducted, though, as recommendations were lacklustre and our waiter, while efficient, lacked a personable nature and didn’t really warm up until after we had paid.
It is important to remember to engage customers and not just perform service in a functional manner.
Service was prompt but the close proximity of the tables makes for a slim thoroughfare and I did feel like every time a waiter passed between our table and our neighbours’ that there was only centimetres in it.
It is a very large menu at Locale, making choices difficult to make.
First-world problem, I know.
There are several crudo on offer: we chose the hiramasa kingfish with pickled plum, Maravista Farm cucumber, trout roe, ginger and horseradish.
Fresh, popping with flavour and crunch. To share, we enjoyed a classic Italian antipasti of burrata, prosciutto, figs, basil and grissini, accompanied by the chef ’s signature fresh pasta dish of spaghettini with raw local tuna, rocket, garlic, chilli, basil, capers and lemon.
Mains were hit and miss.
The de-boned quail with pancetta, celeriac,
mushrooms and local baby leek was a hit.
The veal special was a little tough. The rocket, radicchio and caramelised walnut side salad was definitely a hit. The tiramisu panna cotta, served in a stemless glass, had some lovely flavours but lacked balance between the volume of panna cotta and zabaglione foam (more panna cotta and less foam would have made it more enjoyable).
There is something for most palates on this creative and modern interpretation of the Italian menu and a couple of tweaks here and there will elevate the meals on the plate to among the best on the Coast.
If you like your wine you’ll enjoy taking your time to read through the extensive list here.
There are plenty of local options and an encyclopedic Italian offering.
There is quite a large spread of prices here, too.
Offerings include everything from budgetconscious bottles up to the “I’ve just won the lotto” options.
The spirits and cocktail list is vast as well and it would take you more than a long, summer holiday to work your way through the list.
There is no doubting the quality of the ingredients used by the chefs.
My only criticism was that the mains could benefit from a little more generosity. Drinks are spot on.
Locale offers a Noosa take on modern Italian, with a focus on fresh and locally-sourced produce.
It falls more into finer dining than the cheap-eats category, providing an elegant Noosa dining experience.
Address: 62 Hastings St, Noosa Heads Phone: 5447 5111
Website: localenoosa.com.au or book at opentable.com.au
Opening hours: Open seven days, noon until midnight
2019 RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR AWARDS
THIRSTY WORK: Locale Noosa bar manager Nick Ziglio pours a drink. LEFT: Head chef Andy Davies.