The round-up: where to sample Brisbane’s best pasta
We owe a huge amount of thanks to Italy. Without their historic culinary influence we wouldn’t have pizza, gelati and pasta. If we didn’t have pasta, we’d have a massive gap in our diet. Spaghetti Bolognese, carbonara, even macaroni and cheese – these are dishes we take for granted but are fundamental pillars of our dietary roster. Brisbane is home to a plethora of Italian-inspired eateries that vie for the title of Brisbane’s Best Pasta. We couldn’t possibly crown a winner, but we can clue you in to some of the best.
Beccofino, Teneriffe: This perennially popular restaurant has featured on a bunch of best-of lists, so one more couldn’t hurt. Beccofino is renowned for its terrific Italian fare, and the pasta is no exception. Slurp up some fresine al granchio (thick pasta with crab meat), pappardelle al ragu d’Anatra (duck and tomato ragu) or orechhiette ai broccoli and you’ll see why Beccofino scores top marks.
Il Posto, Paddington: This family-owned restaurant blends traditional Italian fare with a contemporary lean, and its home-style pasta is hailed as some of Brisbane’s best. If linguine marinara or twice-cooked duck and porcini mushroom ragu sounds good to you, then add Il Posto to your list.
OTTO Ristorante, Brisbane City: The Fink Group’s inner-city eatery boasts a stellar ambience and views to accompany. Don’t let the twinkling lights of the Story Bridge distract you from the menu, it offers up must-try dishes such as hand-rolled spinach-infused pasta, potato gnocchi with braised rabbit, pasta filled with braised oxtail and smoked bone marrow and Moreton Bay blue swimmer crab and mascarpone filled ravioli.
1889 Enoteca, Woolloongabba: The home of award-winning Roman fare, 1889 Enoteca serves up hand-made pasta and an unbeatable selection of flavoursome wines. Pair a vino with braised pork and beef pappardelle, spaghetti and guanciale carbonara or pork and fennel sausage gnocchi gnocchi.
Tartufo, Fortitude Valley: Pasta is only as good as the ingredients you pair it with, and Tartufo aims to source only the best seasonal goods from local suppliers. The menu takes inspiration from Naples and its surrounding regions of Tuscany, Umbria and Abruzzo. We’re giddy at the thought of house-made linguini with scampi, squid ink risotto, and tube pasta served with Italian pork sausage, fried eggplant and smoked mozzarella.
Bucci, Fortitude Valley: James Street’s vivacious eatery Bucci is known for sublimely interpreting Italian regional fare, with a seasonal menu that always delivers primo pasta. Savour tender boar-lognaise, braised lamb neck agnolotti, and house-made bucatini carbonara.
Ristorante La Famiglia, Woolloongabba: The ethos behind this Woolloongabba restaurant is all about family. Ristorante La Famiglia evokes traditional home-style dinners with hearty serves of just about everything. We could happily settle down to a plate of strozzapreti pasta with porcini mushrooms, rigatoni with slow-cooked beef and pork ragu and the signature Lasagna Della Mamma, which is inspired by the restaurant owner’s favourite dish.
Julius Pizzeria, South Brisbane: Although the name of this South Brisbane destination indicates pizza is a specialty, don’t sniff at the pasta selection – it’s on par with any slice. Good luck picking between the likes of duck and tomato pappardelle ragu, squid-ink spaghetti with tiger prawns and maccherino with braised beef shoulder.
Il Verde, Bowen Hills: If you weren’t already aware, Il Verde on King Street one of the few places in town where you can get a taste of the famous cheese wheel pasta. You can get your fix of pasta stirred in parmigiano reggiano cheese on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while the full menu also offers up the likes of four-cheese gnocchi and creamy pesto linguine.
Salt Meats Cheese, Newstead: This stylish Gasworks eatery is named after three core ingredients of Italian cuisine, and they utilise all three for its pasta selection. Linguine with fresh clams, hand-made ricotta and spinach ravioli, gnocchi with gorgonzola and truffle, and beef and pork lasagne are just some of the delicious options on the menu.
Popolo, South Bank: Situated on the banks of the Brisbane River, Popolo is the perfect location for a feasting frenzy, especially when pasta is concerned. How does the likes of spicy ndjua and tiger prawn rigatoni, braised wagyu Bolognese and gnocchi with crushed hazelnuts and mushrooms sound? Pretty damn good, if you ask us.
COPPA Spuntino, Brisbane City: Small plates of rustic Italian food are a specialty at this inner-city restaurant, anchored by a strong pasta selection including the likes of bucatini with pecorino, sand crab, prawn and chilli linguini, and orecchiette with Tuscan kale and pangrattato.
Giardinetto, Fortitude Valley: This longstanding Fortitude Valley hideaway has endured the ebbs and flows of the entertainment precinct thanks to its brand of nourishing Italian eats. Fans rave about the veal schnitzel spaghetti, the creamy penne con pollo and the bacon, mushroom and chorizo gnocchi.
Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers, Paddington: The Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers are a recognisable name in Brisbane’s Italian dining scene, having nailed its bricks-and-mortar gnoccheria concept. Pillowy clouds of potato are served with the likes of Genovese-style basil pesto, pork and fennel sausage, wild mushroom and truffle and slow-cooked duck ragu. What’s your flavour?
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