A WWII Nissen Hut transformed into a smart European restaurant, Mosconi is serving some of Brisbane’s best food, paired with a wine list jammed with Old World gems. It also has an inviting fluted timber bar with bentwood stools, just made for the casual visitor.
The nuts & bolts
Function spaces: 25–40 guests
There are few buildings left in Brisbane that exude as much historic charm as Mosconi Restaurant. The WWII Nissen hut boasts an impressively curved ceiling that draws you in as you step through the front door. The classic, marble-topped bar, exposed white bricks and sage-coloured walls give a sense of glamour to this relic, which provides the instant urge to stay sheltered inside and sip on something beautiful.
For years, owner Mark Rotolone had driven past this little haunt on Arthur Street in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, daydreaming of the possibility of transforming the war-era building turned boutique dress shop into his own vision. The reality of Mosconi was cemented once head chef Catherine Anders came on board. Anders creates a menu of sophisticated casualness – it’s not fussy, but rather the cooking is honest and fresh. “A concise menu of small raw dishes, entrees, home-made pasta and a few larger proteins, which has been described by our loyal following as simple food, done exceptionally well,” Rotolone says.
Sommeliers Marin Van Der Klooster and Damon Horne have composed a list that must absolutely be read in full before making a final decision. It’s a small bible of quality ranging through the world’s great wine regions, with special sections dedicated to Egly-Ouriet and nebbiolo, which is listed as “The King of Grapes” – it seems someone has a personal soft spot here, and for good reason.
“Although it is extremely balanced, the wine list is a little selfish,” Rotolone says. “The largest components have been made up of wines I like to drink. There is a focus on grower Champagne, Old World and New World chardonnay and finally, nebbiolo.” That may be no surprise to those in the know, with Mosconi one of Barolo’s great Cru vineyards, in Monforte d’Alba.
And while Mosconi is a restaurant first, it’s just as welcoming for a casual visit to the bar or a quick bite. “We encourage people to just drop in and try what we have on as a special both food and wine,” Rotolone says. “We try to open something different each day. We always keep a few tables for walk-ins. I really love the part of my job where I can talk to guests about a particular wine that I know they have never tried before.”
Mosconi is exceptional addition to Brisbane’s dining culture, with the hallmarks precision and flair for good taste.