If you head into ARC Dining and Wine Bar any time soon, you’ll be faced with two choices—do you want to dine on ARC’s creative fare, or would you prefer to tuck into an Italian feast at Ciao Papi, the first in a series of pop-ups at Howard Smith Wharves?
Transforming the deck outside of ARC Dining into a restaurant in its own right, Ciao Papi is delivering relaxed trattoria-style dining. Headed up by award-winning chef Alanna Sapwell, the casual Italian menu maintains ARC’s focus on beautiful Australian produce. Enjoying comfort food alfresco is the name of the game here, and while the menu is brief it is big on home-runs.
The antipasti and snacks list is basically begging to be thrown back with a chianti while watching the sunset. Standouts include the burrata and tomatoes, oysters served with tarragon and lemon, and artichokes with stracciatella and salsa verde. The pasta game is similarly strong. Expect the likes of beef ragu with buttered pappardelle, spanner crab and chilli, and pumpkin agnolotti with pinenuts.
The selection of mains is deceptively simple but perfectly executed: wagyu skirt with mustard, crumbed fish with lemon and roast chicken (you’ve got to respect a venue that lists a menu item as ‘roast chicken’ and calls it a day).
As you’d expect from the ARC crew, the wine list is bang on, with an impressive selection of prosecco, as well as textural and aromatic whites, a good range of reds, and a creative spritz selection, such as the Rubino spritz, a mix of Rubino Wild Rose Vermouth, vodka, strawberry, lemon, prosecco and soda. Beers include ales from ARC’s neighbour, Felons Brewing Co., a Newstead Brewing porter, as well as Peroni (der).
Ciao Papi is now open Wednesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner—just head for ARC Dining and say ‘ciao!’
Lovers of Italian food will want to check out our list of Brisbane’s best cannoli here.
Image credit: Supplied