LOCALE NOOSA

LARGE MENU OF­FER­ING WITH MOD­ERN ITAL­IAN TWIST

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | FOOD & WINE -

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.

Clean­li­ness

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.

Pre­sen­ta­tion

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.

Ser­vice

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.

Food

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.

Wine list

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.

Value

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.

LOCALE NOOSA

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

PHO­TOS: WARREN LYNAM

THIRSTY WORK: Locale Noosa bar man­ager Nick Ziglio pours a drink. LEFT: Head chef Andy Davies.

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