At the risk of sounding like a tosser, I would say that good dining is about the atmosphere and feel of a restuarunt, just as much as it is about the food.
We love dining in restauraunts that look just as delicious as the food, and whether it's done through decor or scenic views there are so many restauraunts in and around Brisbane that bring ALL the good atmospehre to the table.
With some of our old favourites and a few new faces, here are some of the most beautiful restauraunts in Brisbane.
Sono brings Japanese dining to the forground, with traditional teppanyaki bars, fresh sashimi, and horigotatsu-style dining (when the guests are seated in a sunken cavity in the floor, with the table just about floor level). With clean, fresh produce, simplistic flavours, and the tranquil garden surrounds, Sono is a unique dining experience which toes the line between traditional and contemporary.
Alchemy Restaurant And Bar
Alchemy is somewhat of a Brisbane dining icon, and with its uninterrupted views of the Story Bridge and Brisbane River it’s not had to understand why. The scenery is breathtaking, and when paired with the fine dining of their à la carte and degustation menus you’ve got a winner of a restaurant. When booking, request a table outside the glass doors of the main restauraunt for riverside dining.
When you have a stunningly rich and authentic menu, everything else just falls into place. Montrachet brings intimate French dining to the people of Brisbane, including menu items such as escargots en cocotte, pan roasted Atlantic scallops, and double baked crab soufflé. We are very thankful for acclaimed restauranter, Thierry Galichet.
If you need to escape the city for the afternoon, there’s nowhere nicer to do so than at award winning winery restaurant, Lurleens, at the picturesque Sirromet Winery at Mount Cotton. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows face an impressive view, with the sandy ridges of Stradbroke Island and Moreton Bay forming the backdrop for your time at Lurleens. Fresh produce, seasonal menus, and amazing wines set the foreground. Can you think of anything more tranquil?
Hidden atop some pretty non-discript stairs is the incredbly light and airy space of French restaurant, Greenglass. Sat high above the traffic, this beautiful spot boasts gorgeous wooden floors, bare white brick walls and sash windows overlooking the street below. The food and excellent wine list is more than worth the effort to seek out Greenglass; dishes are traditionally French-inspired and incredibly elegant in flavour and presentatoin. Tres Bien!
Deer Duck Bistro
Dining at Deer Duck Bistro is an experience like no other. They have taken the idea that beautiful food extends to the atmosphere of the restaurant, and have created a playful space inspired by old world romance and antique finishes. For an intimate dining experience that never feels stuffy or overdone, no one else does it better.
e’cco has been feeding the good people of Brisbane for more than 20 years, first under the direction of Philip Johnson and now under the careful eye of head chef Simon Palmer. Without typical scenic views to distract the diner, E’cco has instead focused all their energy into creating a menu that has incomparable flavour and is also visually appealing. Because really, is there anything more beautiful than perfectly cooked duck breast with pickled summer stone fruits? I don't think so.
Tartufo is one of Brisbane’s leading Italian restaurants, with a menu inspired by Naples and the surrounding regions of Tuscany, Umbria and Abruzzo. The deep red booths, black and white photographs, and marble finishes create an atmosphere that feels luxurious and decadent, without feeling kitschy. With welcoming decor and attentive service, dining at Tartufo brings all charm you'd expect of dining with an Italian famiglia.
Inspired by L’Aquitaine in southwest France, Aquitaine Brasserie brings contemporary French dining to South Bank, framed by the cityscape and riverfront views of River Quay. Head Chef Sam Lonsdale has created a beautiful menu of seasonal, local produce, and carefully balanced it with a discerning wine list of classic options and new favourites.
OTTO Ristorante is another restaurant that with brag-worthy views of the Story Bridge and Brisbane River, but this time from four storeys up. OTTO surprises you from the beginning, taking inspiration from the south of Italy for their contemporary menu, and pairing it with the colourful and playful décor of their restaurant. Think Goolwa pippies with nduja and garlic, pepper crusted swordfish, and classic caprese. Add to that an incredible selection or martinis and you have one of the best dining spots in the Brisbane CBD.
Hidden amongst the hustle of Ann Street in The Valley, The APO is a stunning oasis of polised concrete, marble and plush fabrics. Originally an old apothecary in the 1800's, The APO oozes its heritage charm and, frankly, is a bit darn sexy. The food is equally pretty, with dishes a heady mix of French and Lebanese, courtesy of head chef Ben Williamson (of Gerard's Bistro). Tip: the ceviche kingfish with watermelon, buttermilk and chilli is to die for!
Madame Rouge Bar & Bistro
Brisbane adores its French food, and when Madame Rouge stepped onto the scene recently we were delighted from the first bite. Their classic menu is fresh and inspiring, and the meals taste authentic whilst still managing to surprise. And when you’re tucked into an intimate booth with dim lighting and rich wines, there’s nothing at all that could improve the experience. Except of course, being in France…
We are no strangers to the courtyard dining of Balfour Kitchen. Returning to their roots, Balfour Kitchen is housed in an old Queenslander and is attached to the luxury boutique accommodation, Spicers Balfour. Locally sourced produce and fresh ingredients take the centre stage, and when you’re nestled in on the deep wraparound balcony enjoying the clear weather and amazing dishes, it’s easy to fall in love with this restaurant.
LongTime is very subtle in their décor, and the effect is beautiful. When you make your way down the backalley to the hidden restauraunt you're greeted with intimate seating, dim lighting, and exposed brick. The trailing greenery keeps the space feeling fresh. This restaurant is perfect for long dinners with good friends, or for casual-yet-romantic dates sitting side-by-side along the bar. It’s a relaxing dining experience with some of Brisbane’s best Thai food. What’s not to love?
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Image credit: Yaseera Moosa, Ariana Gillrie, Rachael Baskerville