Hotel restaurants are much maligned – usually serving humdrum fare designed for those dining on company issued per diems. Luckily the tide is turning. Notably both restaurants at Le Monceau in Paris now sport a Michelin star. More in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Rome. In New York – Danny Meyer’s Maialino at the Gramercy Park Hotel, Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s Nomad and Andrew Carmellini’s Locanda Verde at the Greenwich Hotel delight locals and tourists alike on a nightly basis.
The dilemma for chefs in hotel restaurants will always be the need to satisfy in-both house guests and still entice locals.
Vintaged Bar + Grill at the Hilton Brisbane is not a stereotypical hotel dining space. The design makes for an intimate dining experience with a sense of place. A subdued ambiance ensures you can hang on every word your other half whispers. Yes, this is definitely a date restaurant.
This is one of Brisbane’s finest restaurants that just happens to be located within a hotel. It is not a hotel restaurant. It is a standalone star combining sensational food from the grill with service that is second to none in the city. Dinner at the Chef’s Table is not to be missed.
Executive chef Jeremy Clark, with sous chef Dario Fiorino running the show on a daily basis, leads the Vintaged team. Vintaged Bar + Grill is an unexpected oasis of exquisite food complimented with an extensive wine list.
The full Chef’s Table experience allows you (and up to 8 others) the opportunity to be part of the theatre of the kitchen. You can choose a set menu, or a la carte or entrust your tastebuds to Dario and his expert team – you won’t be disappointed. He thrives on your enjoyment of his food, understanding your likes and dislikes, making him strive even harder to make this a night to remember.
The service is professional and friendly. This a dining room that is calm not hurried and filled with it’s own particular buzz that comes from the confidence of presenting the best ingredients simply to ensure the finest flavour. There is also the Wine table option – designed for enjoying a combination of perfectly matched wines and perhaps you can take a tour of the strategically placed wine room with the very knowledgeable Dasha.
Some might say Vintaged Bar+Grill is meat centric – but in a good way. The restaurant is committed to sourcing Australia’s finest grain and grass fed beef, pasture fed lamb and sustainably raised poultry. Borrowing a little from the great New York steakhouses but with a touch of modern Italian cooking style, there are plenty of options for vegetarians – including risotto, vegetable antipasti and as well as seafood starters and mains.
Menu descriptions are deceptively simple – listing just 3 or 4 ingredients per item but delivered with flourish and most importantly big flavour. Signature dishes com from the grill but oyster lovers should start with some Coffin Bay beauties: natural, Kilpatrick or with a delicate mignonette of vinegar soused shallots. Or cured salmon with a little sweet crab, fennel and some citrus zing courtesy of rosy grapefruit, perhaps with something a little bubbly – Australian or French.
You should enjoy the ethereal carpaccio of wagyu (anointed with a little truffle and dressed with baby rocket) with a glass of d’Arenberg Stephanie the Gnome with Rose Tinted Glasses – a delightful rosé for red drinkers.
Sourdough hot and charred from the grill with just olive oil and a liberal sprinkling of sea salt is next. This is served simply with Chef Fiorino’s family recipe of capsicum ‘dip’. Pale and glistening Scallops are grilled just enough to maximise sweetness and are served with asparagus and cos. The 2009 Tarrawarra Chardonnay delivers just the right cut through.
A magnificent burrata bursting with creaminess served simply with heirloom tomatoes and basil is lightly dressed with vinaigrette to match the boldness of a 2011 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Then comes the Blackmore Full Blood Wagyu Bresaola – tied and cured for up to 9 months; a sheer triumph of charcuterie and another perfect example of the finest quality produce sourced by the kitchen.
Dario checks how we are coping with this almighty degustation and we assure him we are up to the next course – the flight of steak. If you love great steak you have come to the right place.
Rangers Valley 300 day grain fed black Angus sirloin and flank are served alongside a Darling Downs Wagyu grain fed rump cap. All of the meats are cooked perfectly to order and are meltingly soft. The marbling not only guarantees premium juiciness but out of this world flavour. No need for condiments here – just the correct seasoning from the kitchen.
To finish? Our stomachs may have said no but our eyes said yes to a sampler plate of desserts including an oh so rich chocolate fondant with yoghurt sorbet and a deconstructed sundae with raspberry sorbet.
What makes for a great dining experience? Yes, exceptional food, but the combination of an unwavering commitment to service and a passionate understanding of ingredients and how best to serve them is what makes for an incredible night.
You could win your own incredible night with dinner at Vintaged Bar + Grill, a night in a luxurious Hilton Guest room and a bottle of ’84 Grange, here: http://thismagnificentlife.com/hilton-brisbane