22 C
Byron Shire
December 3, 2021

The Italian Byron’s secret ingredient

Latest News

Election week sees Vanessa Ekins doing her blocky

Enjoying a few precious minutes break in an election week is a real luxury and Lismore mayoral candidate and current Mayor Vanessa Ekins managed to fit an Echo interview in between her TAFE Auslan course and the pre-poll station on Woodlark Street.

Other News

Sale of St Oswald’s

To my utter disbelief the Grafton Diocese has decided it should sell the St Oswald’s church building and land....

Byron’s new estate

Having just read in The Daily Telegraph of the approval of Harvest Byron Bay’s 149 lots, I am shocked...

Response to Ian Cohen and Paul Jones

I am proud to be running as Labor’s mayoral candidate for Byron Shire, with a great team that comes...

Sinking real estate

For most of geological time, the Earth has been 5–15 degrees hotter than today. That’s why the dinosaurs did...

Byron Supper Club

Bryce Hallett The Byron Supper Club is set to return and transport audiences to a magical and exciting realm akin...

Outgoing Ballina independent speaks out against Dunoon Dam campaign

Outgoing independent Cr Sharon Parry has seldom contacted The Echo during her time on the council but says she felt honour bound this week.

Simon Haslam

The Italian Byron Bay, started by William and Laurie Rose about 11 years ago, is one of those ‘favourite’ restaurants that people keep coming back to. It used to be next to the Beach Hotel, but is now in its new location under the cinemas in Jonson St. 

The venue has a classic feel with a simple and stylish longline bar and plenty of seating, a moody interior that opens out to the street as well as some relaxed, street side dining. I was there last Saturday night and the restaurant was full, not only with diners but also with that exciting, busy atmosphere that I’ve missed from a night out in Byron lately.

The menu showcases modern Italian fare with fresh, innovative elements. The menu includes entrees like Pork Belly with beetroot puree, Kingfish Carpaccio with blood orange, pickled fennel, chilli and basil, and mains such as; Snapper with white aubergine, broccolini and caponata; Duck Leg with house made truffle gnocchi; Pickled Lobster spaghetti with tomato confit; Pumpkin and Goats cheese Ravoli with purple cauliflower, sage and burnt butter; and a rich Rigatoni with lamb shoulder ragu and confit onions. They also have a kid’s menu.

Byron Bay’s restaurant scene is pretty competitive and fast-changing. It takes a range of skills, and probably some mental toughness, to survive. The Italian Byron Bay, is one of the longest-standing owner operated restaurants in town and is right at the heart of it is owner-chef-manager, William Ennis. He has been a chef for more than 25 years, a restaurant owner, with others, of a couple of Byron restaurants, and has now made the transition from Head Chef to being the Chef and Daily Operations Manager.

Whilst COVID has been a struggle, bookings have bounced back immediately now that visitors can come to Byron again. Looking through the Christmas bookings, Ennis spots people who are coming back for their sixth Christmas.

‘I think the biggest factor in being a success is consistency’, says Ennis. ‘plus quality, obviously, but you can normally tell when a restaurant has a new head chef, or new owner, and we’re not like that – we’ve been consistent from day one I think.’

That doesn’t mean it’s the same each time, though. ‘I used to do a big menu with loads of things, but now I have 3–4 pastas, with fresh pasta, and 3–4 main courses that constantly change, every three weeks or so.’

Making the menu has become more of a collaboration now, with longstanding staff members Jaume (now the Head Chef), and Malin (now the Restaurant Manager) becoming actual owners of the business to which they have contributed.

The Italian has been doing a collaboration with the Italian Film festival, and are planning to do more pre-cinema deals where patrons can sit at the bar and have a nibble, or have a bowl of pasta and glass of wine before the movie.

He’s no longer the head chef of a ‘favourite’ restaurants for decades of visitors, but Ennis hasn’t exactly taken his foot off the pedal. He’s still in the kitchen on these busy nights leading up to summer, and when I called he seemed to be packing a lot of the operational side of a successful restaurant into the daylight hours – trying to find staff, especially vaccinated staff, doing the payroll, being there for the plumber’s visit… all the glamour of the Byron scene.

‘Owning a restaurant is like having a “to do list” that’s never done,’ he says. ‘You’re always building a team, and that’s never finished. While I’m taking more of an interest in the financial side, the business side, over the busy time I’m very happy to jump back into the kitchen.’

The Italian Byron Bay

108 Jonson St, Byron Bay

theitalianbyronbay.com


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Which values are important for the region?

Public opinion sure is divided about the Dunoon Dam (the DuD). Clearly it does not have sufficient social licence to convince decision makers that...

Corruption and waste

For many years the corrupt behaviour of our State politicians has been front and centre at the ICAC. Eddie Obeid (ALP) and his motley...

New COVID exposure site on the Gold Coast

Queensland Health says that a public health alert is being issued for contact tracing locations on the Gold Coast.

Aussies got drunk more than any other country during the pandemic (are we surprised?)

The Global Drug Survey 2021, released yesterday, reveals that Australians got drunk the most during 2020 and that drug and alcohol habits changed during the...