Lebrina

Licensed $$-$$$   Hat iconHat iconHat icon   Glass iconGlass iconGlass icon
155 New Town Road, New Town
03) 6228 7775
Open: Dinner Tuesday to Saturday.

Having been part of and around the Hobart restaurant scene for over 30 years, I can confidently say we have never had it so good.

If you want trendy, cutting edge, shared-plate modern, we’ve got it. A bit of South American fun? Try Frank. For home-style Nonya there’s MYU. Prefer Mexican, Texan or French? No worries. Seafood and steaks? Likewise. If Japanese, it’s a choice between sushi, ramen or izakaya style. For vegetarians and vegans there’s Pollen and Straight Up. Pasha’s does Persian. Italian? There are so many to choose from. As there are Indian, Thai and Chinese. Then there’s Korean, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Nepalese – the options go on.

Amongst this great diversity Lebrina stands alone at Hobart’s pinnacle of fine dining. Passé? Nonsense. Fine dining is as passé as those great fine dining restaurants of France and Italy which 20, 30 and 40 years on still wear their three Michelin hats with pride and are booked solid months in advance.

And, like those restaurants, it’s Lebrina’s longevity and the consistent high quality of its food, wine and service that make it a great restaurant and which, despite changing fashions and the hyped comings and goings in the dining scene around it, means it remains Tasmania’s best restaurant – a position it’s occupied for over two decades.

At dinner recently, autumn had arrived on the menu in the form of a pigeon breast on chestnut polenta with pigeon essence; pickled cumquats with a meltingly tender duck fillet and beautifully cooked venison with a light bread sauce called La Peara from Italy’s Veneto region. As a counterpoint came delicious sautéed Moreton Bay bugs with confit pork belly, pickled eggplant and lightly spiced Chinese greens and a Mediterranean-inspired dish of warm eggplant mousse with house-cured sardines dressed with local olive oil and tomato salsa.

Lebrina’s signature twice-cooked soufflé of Heidi gruyere was still on the menu – as it deserves to be – and my wife described her noisettes of slow-cooked lamb with a baked pumpkin pudding, braising juices and lemon Hollandaise as “scrumptious”. The pared back and deceptive simplicity of dishes like these and the time, skill and effort that go into them, the sensitive balance of flavours and the sourcing of local, home-grown, seasonal and sustainable ingredients are the very essence of chef Scott Minervini’s food and culinary philosophy.

And my wife’s ‘scrumptious’ would do as a descriptor for the whole meal, from the exceptional wood-fired bread to the small anchovy panna cotta with black radish starters to the desserts, coffee and the house-made sweet treats to finish.

The extensive wine list is an intelligent selection of the best from Tasmanian, the mainland and Italy. Together with Steve Bryan’s attentive service, their art works, the elegance of the small rooms’ furnishings, decor and table settings, the wines all wonderfully enhance the Lebrina experience and help make the restaurant one of which Hobart and Tasmania can be rightly proud.

Minervini and Bryan advise that the restaurant will be closed from April 12 to 28 inclusive.

Entrees $28.50 to $32.50; mains $49.50; desserts $19.00

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