Trio Romano at Mermaid Beach is an authentic Italian restaurant, well hidden behind its pizza bar facade. While it may have begun as a pizza shop in the 1980s, Trio Romano shows off a family heritage of fine cuisine, transporting diners to the homestyle cooking of family restaurants of Northern Italy.
Mario & Sandro Lanzi own and operate Trio Romano, taking over the reins of the family business after the opening of the upmarket restaurant Squisito (awarded Best Italian restaurant on the Gold Coast in 2009). Although Squisito is now closed, the legacy continues in Trio Romano, with wonderful homemade dishes enjoyed by a loyal clientele.
The menu features many Italian classics: pizza, pastas, minestrone, crostino, veal and chicken, with the house specialty being Rolls Vesuvianna (veal, pork, bacon, rice and spices in cabbage leaves cooked in a tomato base). There’s also a specials board, with Wild Barramundi featured when we visited.
Although it’s a Sunday night, the tiny restaurant is full before 7pm, mostly locals from the Mermaid Beach area. Seating around thirty, it’s an intimate space more suited to adult diners than to young families, however takeaway is available at several dollars cheaper per dish. With comfortable muted autumn shaded decor, efficient service, there are no distractors here, either in dominant personalities or surroundings; the focus is firmly on the food and the enjoyment of the company of those at your table.
We ate Veal al funghi and Spaghetti Marinara, followed by Tiramisu. The melt in your mouth veal was sliced thinly, accompanied by sautéed potatoes and steamed julienned vegetables: carrots, snow peas, broccoli, zucchini, capsicum and beetroot. Large chunks of seafood were strewn through the al dente spaghetti in the Marinara: prawns, calamari, mussels in half shells, scallops – top quality ingredients.
Meanwhile, pizzas are being pumped out of the front of the shop, the thriving takeaway business operating separate to the dining area. Food is reasonably priced for its quality, made all the more affordable by the restaurant’s BYO status.
Trio Romano is a local favourite, with delicious homemade Italian cuisine, including some specialty regional dishes. Be sure to book!
2392 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach Ph: 07 5572 2928 Open Mon – Sat 5.30 – 8.30/9pm