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Little pigs beware – The Wolf’s striking restaurant and deli add Euro flair to city

One of The City’s best-kept secrets is starting to make some noise. The Wolf, an ultra-chic restaurant and bar with style in spades, has been turning heads over the past few months with its attention-grabbing interior design, European-inspired offering prepped by a team with Michelin-starred credentials and a formidable wine list. 
Sep 08, 2023, updated Sep 08, 2023

That’s not to mention The Wolf’s own deli – a provisions-packed grocer that’s become a lunchtime go-to for many. We took a look inside this arresting newcomer – this is what we saw …

To Fabian Rebelo, hospitality should be much more than a simple transactional relationship between restaurant and diner. The restaurateur believes that to deliver a truly outstanding dining experience, one must go above and beyond the simple three-step process of eating, paying and leaving.

He’s walking the walk at The Wolf, Brisbane City’s chic Euro-inspired restaurant and delicatessen, found at Post Office Square off Queen Street. Tucked away behind a understatedly glamorous mid-century-style facade – all cream tiles, splashes of burgundy and gold accents – this sophisticated two-part establishment looks to offer a varied culinary experience for the inner city, be it expeditious lunchtime eats or a lavish fine-dining experience.

“I wanted to elevate the dining experience,” says Fabian, who also operates European-inspired brasserie, bar and pizzeria Stanton at Queens Plaza. “The overall concept for The Wolf is to deliver a really sophisticated, creative, multi-touchpoint business that offers a cultured and creative approach to engaging with food.”

This approach is already paying dividends. Though The Wolf has flown under the radar since opening three months ago, those in the know already have it pegged as one of Brisbane’s most impressive openings in recent memory.

The deli is where most Brisbane City wanderers will be drawn to first. Authentically appointed with checkered floors, La Maison Pierre Frey wallpaper, marble countertops and brass fixtures, this providore looks like it has been plucked directly from the cobblestoned streets of Rome or Paris. A coffee window services express custom, but the best way to experience The Wolf’s deli is by popping inside.

Shelves are amply stocked with everything from rich sauces and artisanal pastas to bottles of fine wine and gourmet chocolate, while the cabinets are frequently replenished with an assortment of pastries, salads, spicy sopressa baguettes, salmon and avocado rolls, and egg and mayo sandwiches. In the fridges, platters piled high with imported cheeses and pre-made meals prepared by The Wolf’s kitchen team (like duck confit with Paris mash) offer an easy take-home dinner option.

“The city can engage with [the deli] at a touchpoint that’s really convenient,” says Fabian. “It could be a $15 mixed-meat baguette or a salad, or beautiful champagne basket as a present.”

Shielded from view from the square by a curtained entrance, The Wolf’s full-service restaurant and bar might be one of the best-looking dining rooms in The City. In addition to curating the delicatessen’s aesthetic, Melissa Collison Design Studio has worked on the restaurant’s interior design and styling, drilling further into the mid-century inspirations and punching it up with an abundance of colour and texture.

Even when dimly lit, the room is a sensory marvel, boasting vivid tones of paprika and saffron, cream and burgundy tiles and terrazzo, velvet-lined chairs and corduroy-encased banquettes, pendant lights, warm timber parquet floors, wallpaper from Schumacher, and a gallery’s worth of original artworks. “It’s moody – it looks like people are trying not to be seen,” says Fabian, of the space’s ambience. “Nothing about this venue suggests in and out.”

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When comfortably ensconced in a curved banquette or perched at the bar, it’s hard to imagine wanting to leave in a hurry. This is further reinforced by the menu, which skews European and is perfectly geared towards leisurely lunches and late-night feasts. “I purposely went to French, Italian and Spanish and kept it broad, ” adds Fabian. “We can draw inspiration based on seasonality, local produce, local suppliers, and also based on the best international imports.”

Helming the kitchen is head chef Wesley Marshall, who leads a talented culinary brigade boasting loads of hatted and Michelin-starred experience. The a la carte menu progresses from small to large, leading with sea scallops saltimbocca with pancetta foam and duck-liver parfait with bitter kumquat chutney, before progressing to the likes of gnocchi with braised beef cheek, market fish with charcoal-grilled leek, and steak au poivre with Queensland black pepper.

Of special mention is the cheese trolley – an artfully crafted piece of equipment boasting built-in ice packs that is laden with slabs of gooey and hard cheeses (all of which are also stocked in the grocer next door). Sharing a detail-oriented approach with Fabian, Wesley isn’t shy to tinker with the offering – weekly menu reviews can result in minor tweaks and whole new dishes, offering plenty of excuses to return.

The Wolf’s general manager Eric Dessilas has curated a thoughtful wine list encompassing champagne from Krug and Dom Perignon, Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Rhone Valley, barolos from Piedmont, Argentinian malbec and Barossa shiraz. “The goal with The Wolf is keep it a long-term hidden secret,” says Fabian. “It’s the place you go to when you don’t want to be seen. It’s where you go when you want to have a long conversation.”

With a must-experience offering and a full itinerary of events (including champagne masterclasses and wine-paired degustations), The Wolf might not be a secret for much longer.

The Wolf is now open in The City – operating hours, menu info and booking links can be found in the Stumble Guide.
This article was written by James Frostick from The Weekend Edition. 
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