Quarter Century for Cairns Icon 

Perrotta’s At The gallery Turns 25

As a milestone, the quarter century is significant. In terms of restaurants in Cairns, it makes you a member of a very small and exclusive group. For many, Perrotta’s At The Gallery is like an old friend or a famous chat show guest; it barely requires introduction. Simply known locally as Perrotta’s, it has been a focal point of Cairns’ restaurant culture since 1997. The restaurant leans stylishly against Cairns Art Gallery,  an impressive heritage-listed building constructed as the Public Curator’s office built in 1936. The unashamed jewel in the crown of CBD outdoor dining, a place to see or be seen at.

The restaurant utilises the external features of the gallery building, with a fully stocked bar and barista station tucked between baroque colonnades and a kitchen pass formed by the sill of a large arched window. The main action takes place on a raised deck which provides a 180-degree view of Shields Street, a perfect vantage point on which to dine, whilst being not too close but not too far from the bustling crowd. The custom made wrought iron furniture combined with fixed stool breakfast bar type seating gives the place a solid and contemporary feel which interestingly juxtaposes the classic architecture that forms its boundary.

Like all institutions in hospitality, its longevity is no accident. Over the last 25 years Perrotta’s has survived many local and global events, and traded resolutely with a level of service and consistency that is a tribute not only to its ownership but also the quality and consistency in both food and service.

Unlike other FNQ outdoor venues, Perrotta’s remains busy throughout the year. A quirk of the Shields Street positioning channels the Coral Sea’s prevailing southeasterly off the inlet to cool the location. On the rare occasions that the weather refuses to cooperate, there is an ample barrage of ceiling fans to keep the temperature just right for lingering consumption.

The eclectic cuisine is heavily influenced by Italian, the heritage of Ivo Perrotta, the eponymous founder. Long-time Perrotta’s head chef Darren Law, ubiquitous at the kitchen window pass, ensures that the entire menu is both varied and exciting. The restaurant takes full advantage of its central location and provides full service from early morning breakfast, lively lunchtimes, through to a full dinner menu.

Traditional favourites such as eggs Benedict, fruit salad bowls, to the rather splendidly named Truck Stop breakfast, provide something to accompany their great coffee to start the day. The menu changes tempo around lunchtime and sees pizzas, pasta and various other mouthwatering goodies join the breakfast/brunch stalwarts. Both light and full lunches are available with fully licensed bar offerings too. Each evening the cafe style neatly subsides, turning into a vibrant full-service restaurant with a great wine list, extensive cocktails and, of course, an excellent menu.

Perrotta’s undoubtedly has something for everyone; its elegant looks, unbeatable location and crowd-pleasing menu make it a perfect place to begin, end or break up any time spent in Cairns.

For more information and to make a reservation, visit www.perrottasatg.com

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