There are so many factors that can make a truly great Italian restaurant: the creaminess of a pasta, the inventiveness of a pizza topping, the extent of a wine list, the ambiance, the service. Taking all of this into consideration, we have compiled a list of the best Italian restaurants around Brisbane that will make you feel as if you’ve just stepped off the plane in Naples.
Bucci has a light and innovative seasonal menu that makes the greatest use of authentic regional Italian produce. Certainly, the resulting menu is diverse enough to support this mission statement. Salads are light but head-turning: try Il Polpo Arristito (chargrilled octopus with fennel, avocado and tomato). Mains range from inventive pasta dishes, such as the strozzapreti con cola d’agnello e pecorino (torn pieces of tender, slow cooked lamb neck tossed with strozzapreti pasta, sugarloaf, fresh garden peas & Pecorino) to meat and fish cuts.
Mariosarti of Toowong aims to demarcate itself from the legion of Italian restaurants by providing a truly unique dining experience in Brisbane. Try the Pancetta di Maiale (the restaurant’s signature crispy skin pork belly with scented pumpkin & carrot puree, topped with green pea & roasted macadamia pesto), or the fettuccine con pollo all boscaiola (free range chicken tenderloins, double smoked Kelser bacon and Portobello mushrooms in a light creamy tomato and oregano sauce with ribbons of pasta and Grana Padano).
Bruschetta at The Rustic Olive | Len Matthews/Flickr
1889 Enoteca oozes sophistication and class before you’ve even stepped through the doors. Fortunately, the interior is a worthy equal to the restaurant’s location, with a global library of wine lining each and every wall – 1889 Enoteca even stocks organic and biodynamic producers. The mantra here is ‘real roman food’ – pairing wine with a dish for maximum enjoyment. With culinary offerings such as the Pesce del giorno con lenticchie,pancetta e salsa verde (market fish, lentils, pancetta, salsa verde) and Rigatoni all`amatriciana (rigatoni, fresh tomato sauce, cured pork cheek, chilli, Pecorino Romano), you’ll certainly leave feeling treated like an emperor.
The Rustic Olive is a winning restaurant purely on account of its great service, family-friendly atmosphere and sheer consistency. An oceanfront location in scenic Redcliffe, to the north of the city won’t hinder The Rustic Olive’s reputation either, nor its strong dine-in menu with its numerous pasta and gourmet pizza options. Standouts include the tortellini trevi (champagne ham, snow peas, spinach and sundried tomato in a creamy garlic saffron sauce) and the casanova salad pizza (smoked Tasmanian salmon, salad onions, capers, spinach & mozzarella cheese drizzled with aioli).
Pane e Vino serves dishes with big flavors. Try the pasta con granchio (blue swimmer crab, chilli, Spanish onion, capers, rosette sugo, spaghetti) and the confit di agnello (lamb shoulder, eggplant puree, braised spicy lentils, cucumber, mint & yogurt salad). To truly reap the advantages of this informal venue, head down after work for a traditional aperitivo cocktail, including the standard negroni and bellini.