Bella Venezia: Slick Italian, a Global Scene-Stealer

Image source: Contributed

Long-regarded as one of the Coast’s best Italian restaurants, Bella Venezia just keeps on winning – effuses Helen Flanagan.

Worthy of its status on the world stage, there is no denying Bella Venezia Restaurant & Bar is made to impress with its understated elegance indoors and alfresco on The Esplanade, Mooloolaba – both options capturing the essence of a neighbourhood Italian trattoria, whether a long breezy lunch or a romantic celebration.

From silky hand-cut pasta, aperitivo snacks and antipasti; to the seafood fresh from the nearby trawlers and the terrific Roman-style red and white-based pizzas flying out of the pizza oven with the dough taken to bubbly, charred brilliance under classic toppings of top-notch ingredients; Bella Venezia delivers a modern take on ‘classic’ but always excellent fare, complemented by warm attentive service, and a truly world-class wine list. 

The most recent accolade was Best Wine List in Queensland at the Australian Wine List Awards 2022, trouncing numerous high-profile restaurants in the state. 

The piece-de-resistance however was announced in London at the World’s Best Wine Lists Awards 2022 for the Best Regional Wine List outside Region, that being Australasia, with Bella Venezia winning for its Italian wines! 

The awards are a huge achievement considering there is a 28-page catalogue, which for wine aficionados is akin to reading a thriller. 

On the books there are sixty wines by the glass and over 400 bottles from all over the world! 

The thrill being the notes regarding varietal-specific stemware, storage – such as premium reds maintained at 15°c year-round and premium white wines at 10-12°c; and so much more. 

“We continually source special wines, many come from private auctions, so the list changes about every two weeks,” explains Todd Young, who has been at the helm of the restaurant for nearly two decades and is wine director/head sommelier. 

“The awards are a huge recognition for our sommeliers who are well versed in tasting, correct glassware, storage control and advising diners about possible matchings and choices, by using their extensive knowledge of regions, grape varieties and terroir, especially French, Italian and Australian. 

“This is a distinct advantage especially when hosting very discerning diners from here and around the world.”

Another award dear to Todd and wife Kristine’s hearts, was the accolade for Best Formal Italian Restaurant in South-East Queensland’s Restaurant and Catering Awards for 2022. 

“These are such well-respected awards in our industry as they are judged by an independent team who dine anonymously,” Todd explains. 

“The scores are based on the entire dining experience from food to customer service, and we’re thrilled to have beaten some of the big players in Brisbane.” 

Equally chuffed with the award was acclaimed executive chef Ben Achurch. He leads the kitchen brigade of 15 chefs who hail from various countries and like him, are looking forward to the summer menu which has every Italian craving covered. 

Look out for the specialty of house-made Ravioli, Western Australian lobster, Mooloolaba king prawn, champagne sauce and caviar. Salivate over grilled Mooloolaba king prawns, roasted tomato oil, local cherry tomato and lemon; Pumpkin, ricotta and macadamia-filled house-made tortellini, noisette butter, and ricotta salate; and the charcuterie board with wagyu bresaola, truffle salami, capocolla, baguette, assorted cheese, and truffle honey.

Recently Todd and Kristine visited Italy to swoon over food and wine, whilst living their dream. 

“We love Venice, Tuscany and are inspired by the history and culture all woven together with the essential ingredient of love,” says co-owner Kristine who is looking forward to summer and enjoying all four courses of the tasting menu with paired wine.

“The main of sous vide grain fed eye fillet with roasted artichoke puree, prosciutto di parma and potato gratin is a stunner, so how much more indulgent will it be having all four?” 

For the last word on wine let us confer with respected wine judge and writer Jeni Port’s notes:

The list is designed to work beautifully with the kitchen’s heritage Italian menu. Flights prepare you for the Italian wine journey that follows. It will be easy to get caught up in the Italians but keep an eye out for the Australians and the verticals of top producers such as Grosset, Giaconda, Leeuwin Estate, Wendouree and more. There is a world of excellent drinking to be found here.” Cheers to that!


Winner Best Formal Italian Restaurant SEQ – RCA 2022 

Winner 2-Glass Rating 2021, 2022 Wine Spectator’s ‘Best of Award of Excellence’

Winner 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 AGFG Best Italian Restaurant, Sunshine Coast

Winner 3-Glass Rating 2020, 2021, 2022 Best Wine List in Qld Australia’s Wine List Of The Year Awards

2021, 2022 Sunshine Coast Business Awards – Large Hospitality Award 

Tripadvisor No. 1 Restaurant in Australia – Traveller’s Choice 2021, 2022  ‘Everyday Eats’ Award

About the Author /

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Noosa’s sophisticated charm, vibrant food culture and the magnetism of a subtropical paradise surrounded by national parks, inveigled Helen’s manic world and flipped it on its side. She pursues the good life with gusto, instinctively understanding the joys of travel, the art of story-telling, a candid review and surviving another reno whilst thriving on the motto Live Laugh Love!

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