Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted a huge new sign by the side of West Bay Road.
The striking red-on-black design of new restaurant and bar XQs is difficult to miss. The establishment on the Seven Mile Strip is the brainchild of Maryn Pilat and owner Alvaro Quintas and serves a variety of pastas, salads, appetisers and the speciality of pizza cooked in a state-of-the-art imported Italian wood fired oven.
“We cater to everybody,” Mr. Pilat said. “We have a great location here near the hotels and condos and are family-friendly. What we are aiming for is the consistency of a fast food restaurant with the quality of an establishment like Blue: we want to meet in the middle.
“The wood fired oven is the centrepiece of the restaurant and you can see it from everywhere,” he said. “It gives a warm, cozy feeling and we also think carefully about the music which changes depending on time of day – for example, there is a different soundtrack at lunch compared to our 3pm to 7pm Happy Hour.”
While that enormous sign has been tantalising drivers for months, Mr. Pilat said that it was important to get the establishment ready before opening.
The restaurant is open from midday to midnight and is situated in the old Mezza restaurant, above Big Daddy’s Treasure Island branch.
There has been significant renovation to the interior constituting a complete gutting and rethink of the internal area, with an open kitchen and an opening out of the previously closed-off dining room to create space.
“We have not really done any advertising but have been full every night since we opened this week. The sign does bring people in. Our chef is Italian and the staff is experienced. All have worked on island before and it is important for customers to see people they recognise,” said Mr. Pilat, formerly manager at Bacchus.
Italian Claudio Surfati has worked at establishments with Michelin Stars in the past and brings significant experience and flair to the establishment, Mr. Pilat said.
The food, he said, includes Angus beef and locally-sourced fish.
Other things to be introduced include a tapas menu of small bites, which is served from 4pm, plus ‘Pizzangria’ where Pizza and Sangria are the only things served.
“It’s our version of brunch; there will be pre-cut slices of pizza of all kinds – even ice cream pizza.
We start on Sunday, 23rd October,” he said.