QT Sydney is marking a new phase in its culinary journey, with the reopening of its signature restaurant Gowings, this week, under the creative direction of acclaimed Chef, Sean Connolly.

Inspired by New York’s Little Italy and steakhouse scene, Connolly will introduce “elegant and unpretentious” Italian cuisine, with a menu built on clean, crisp flavours, beautiful seafood, fresh pasta and Australian pasture and grain-fed beef.

“I’m very excited to be working with Gowings, a restaurant that was a pioneer in Sydney’s dining scene, located in a building that is a huge part of Sydney’s cultural fabric,” Connolly said.

“In this new venture, I’ll bring back old school hotel dining with a twist, combining the new interiors and menu with a flair for interactive theatre. It’ll be a melting pot of Italian food and great Australian beef and produce, what’s not to love?”

The new restaurant will offer a highly immersive experience, with an open kitchen, roaming trolleys for tableside service, and a Chef’s Table, that welcomes up to eight guests at a time.

Connolly previously worked with the QT brand on the opening of award-winning restaurant Esther at QT Auckland. At QT Sydney, he will lead the dining concept at Gowings as well as in-room dining, and conference and events menus.

The atmosphere in the restaurant is brought to life through high-fashion art, photography and music. Australia interior designer Nic Graham worked alongside the EVENT Design team to redesign the restaurant in a way that respects the heritage-listed building.

“We’ve honoured the history and balanced the masculine energy of the space by introducing feminine touches, resulting in this interior which is beautiful, bright, fresh, and tactile,” Graham said.

The venue’s extensive wine selection, featuring over 800 wines, highlights Australian winemakers, with an Italian accent. Gowings will also showcase an aged Australian collection which goes back 90 years.

“Wine is about communication, not education,” said QT’s Beverage Director, Chris Morrison. “Wine is a drink, and often a great one, but it’s the humour, theatre, music, food and service that goes with it to make the wine experience at QT memorable.”