Set: Chef, Jacqui Gowan.
Set: Chef, Jacqui Gowan. Photo: Domino Postiglione

It has had no shortage of suitors, but the grand Manly Pavilion restaurant has sat inexplicably empty since its closure nearly two years ago. The restaurant’s alumni have fared better, its former head chef Jonathan Barthelmess opening The Apollo at Potts Point.

Now Manly Pavilion’s former general manager, David Gray, is making a plunge of his own, back in Manly. Next month Gray opens Dolce Terra at the ocean end of Raglan Street, luring chef Jacqui Gowan to the project.

Gowan started at Subsolo in the city, became a regular on Network Ten’s Ready Steady Cook and bought a half share at The Burlington in Crows Nest, which she recently sold.

The Mediterranean menu at Dolce Terra will be decidedly less grand than the high-end Med food dished up at Manly Pavilion.

“We’ll do great salads and piadina. I really like the way Jacqui cooks” Gray says.