In a world where the political climate has soured beyond recognition and the prospect of an irreversibly cooked climate looms large over the fate of human civilisation, few things take the edge off like a bowl of gnocchi.
Those cheeky little cushions of potato-disguised-as-pasta provide the most valuable of services keeping us happy, fed and warm throughout the cold months with a little extra padding. Winter might be on the out, but while there’s still some crispness to the night air, we recommend cramming in as many carbs as possible before summer makes it impossible to enjoy anything hotter than a popsicle.
Tally-ho kids, tonight we’re getting fully (carb)loaded, so here’s where to find Brisbane’s best gnocchi.
Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers
As the city’s first dedicated gnoccheria, Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers is a must-visit for anyone with even a casual appreciation for hearty and delicious Italian. Having started out as a stall on the Brisbane market circuit, Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers quickly amassed a loyal following of carb-hungry Italophiles with their promise to provide delicious gnocchi on demand. We followed them around wherever they roamed until they made it official with a Paddington lease a few years back. Come by for a bowl of their signature slow-cooked Bolognese, or a wild mushroom and truffle number that has weathered us through many a winter. (And just a heads up: Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers will be opening a second location in South Bank very soon so stay tuned.)
Half restaurant, half wine cellar, all glorious, 1889 enoteca is the seat of polished Italian cuisine. Their Roman-style dining is a carefully curated menu of refined dishes, so when it comes to gnocchi, their contribution is an absolute ripper featuring pork and fennel sausage, parmesan cream and black truffle tapenade to go with their pillowy gnocchi. It’s delicate, luxe and ticks absolutely all our boxes. If you’re looking for a bit of heartwarming comfort at a swanky dinner, look no further than 1889 enoteca.
Coppa Spuntino is undeniably cool. If they were a human, they’d be a swish urban creative with a sunglasses wardrobe, white sneakers that never scuff, and the ability to retain a summer glow through winter. So it only makes sense that their gnocchi with kale, walnuts and truffles is a sophisticated balance of body-worship and delicacy. Round it out with some stuffed zucchini flowers and a bottle of something excellent and you’re actually laughing.
One thing we love about gnocchi is that, at its spiritual core, it is a comforting heft of a meal. Downing a bowl of it is the culinary equivalent of wrapping yourself in a doona while it’s raining outside. Bucci leans into the heartiness with their renowned boar-lognese gnocchi. Starting with a solid base of their house-made gnocchi, the sauce is a rich and unctuous mass of boar ragu with porcini mushrooms, smoked speck and a tonne of red wine.
Bar Alto’s modern Italian shtick has been winning hearts ever since the Powerhouse opened in 2000. Perched practically on the Brown Snake, their river views and heritage digs showcase the best of Brisbane dining, so naturally, here is where you’ll find the most euphoric gnocchi. With local spanner crab, chilli and fennel, Bar Alto’s gnocchi is a fresh oceanic take and is best served overlooking the river with a bottle of white.
Freshly minted on Arthur Street, Mosconi is a brand new bolthole bringing a fresh perspective to Brisbane’s Italian munchscape. Their team has been hard at it over the past few months, churning out tonnes of exciting dishes that represent the intersection between hearty Italian comfort and contemporary Australian dining. Case in point, their goat curd gnocchi, showing the lighter side of a carb-laden meal with peas, asparagus and artichokes, served in broth.
Ristorante La Famiglia
This is one for the real fiends. Known for crafting some of the finest gnocchi this side of the Italian coast, Ristorante La Famiglia offers five different types of knee-weakening gnocchi including a traditional bolognese, a quattro formaggio and a pistachio pesto with parmesan. Each iteration is so goddamn delicious we’re flat out trying to choose just one, so it pays to bring a group and get sharing. NB: Ristorante La Famiglia only offers their gnocchi menu on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, so plan accordingly and be sure to book a table in advance.
I know you’re probably thinking that this list has reached its cap and that this town has nothing further to offer in the way of gnocchi satisfaction, but you’d be WRONG. Just when we thought we’d seen it all, Sister Cafe bursts onto our breakfast scene with the most marvellous invention of all time: breakfast gnocchi. Technically all gnocchi is breakfast gnocchi if you eat it at breakfast time, but Sister has really gone the extra clicks and breakfastised their gnocchi with mushroom ragu, crispy bacon and a poached egg.
Always up for a bit of carb-loading? Find Brisbane's best bottomless feeds here.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson (Gnocchi Gnocchi Brothers)