Enjoy set dining experiences at this boutique restaurant
Dan Arnold and his wonderful team have opened a restaurant in the Newstead end of Fortitude Valley that takes everything that they love about fine dining, that is, the fresh seasonal ingredients, creative flavours and quality food, and rejects all the emotionless stiff attitudes, ego and negativity of the kitchen culture. The result is a welcoming dining experience that wants you to feel like house guest, not a customer.
Dan Arnold Restaurant at the Alex Perry Hotel in Fortitude Valley
Located in a nondescript location downstairs at the Alex Perry Hotel at 959 Ann St at the Newstead end of Fortitude Valley, you could easily walk past this restaurant and not notice. The restaurant itself only has 12 tables with additional service at the bar, so It is a quiet, unpretentious boutique restaurant.
This underlies the philosophy of the restaurant and the team, which includes Dan Arnold, his wife Amelie and Luis Alvarado. Dan worked in a Michelin 3 starred restaurant in France and brings that attitude to the creation of the food. However, they reject the egos, shouting, the pretentiousness of the traditional fine dining scene and believe that food should come from creative environments and enjoyed in a friendly welcoming atmosphere.
Rather than serving food a la carte, Dan Arnold Restaurant focuses on food experiences. The two main experiences available are the $72 Experience #3 and the $98 Experience #5. There was a cheaper experience but the restaurant's reputation has quickly spread and is attracting people looking for the best that they can get from their evening at this fine restaurant.
For the matching wines, it is $35 for 3 glasses to go with Experience #3 and $65 for 5 glasses with Experience #5. Wines on are mostly French or Australia and I feel are chosen well to both suite Australian tastes while being a subtle accompaniment to the culinary experience.
Beautiful and innovative food that changes every week at Dan Arnold Restaurant
If you are looking for a lighter meal or snack, especially one that will accompany a nice glass of wine, then there are a selection of snacks or share plates, including a charcuterie plate, cheese from the trolley, fruits or light meals. The best way to enjoy this is at the bar, though at quieter times you can also have this at a table, but table service for this option is definitely not available Friday and Saturday evenings.
I have so far only experienced a sampling of their menu. This includes a range of subtle flavours, never too overpowering, but never too timid. This is food created by someone who loves food and enjoys eating, believes in great ingredients and amazing presentation, but at the same time understands that the sophisticated can sit happily beside the simple on the table and be enjoyed equally as much.
The plan is that they will change the menu every week so that you can return on a regular basis for a new experience. With an attitude of dining being a conversation with the customer, diners will encourage those experiences which they most enjoy, shaping the restaurant as a cooperation between the chefs and the patrons.
Dan Arnold has made his move. He has found a space in Fortitude Valley which is becoming very upmarket and is in dire need of better restaurants. The result is a boutique dining space where you can come and enjoy great food and wine at an appropriate price. Their plan to change the menu weekly means that success or failure is based on whether people keep coming back or not, and they already have a following of regular customers.
Chef Dan Arnold, where he is the most happy, in the Kitchen
Of course reviewers don't really make restaurants any more, instead it is customers, however, I do recommend getting in early to experience the Dan Arnold Restaurant, because if they are successful, which I am sure they will be, in the future getting a table here will be very difficult.