OTTO Ristorante sits on prime Brisbane real estate. The view is on point all year round—overlooking the Story Bridge and harbour—and the food is always generous and delicious. It’s safe to say that this restaurant is the place to head if you want to impress a date, the in-laws, or for your next lunch with the girls.
We should point out the menu changes seasonally and that right now our top pick is the ricotta filled cannoli, topped with tomato confit, chargrilled zucchini, black olives, and basil. And as we’re chatting about the best bits of OTTO we just have to give a shout out to their top-notch sommelier—the kind of legend who is always on hand for pro wine tips.
Their wine list is extensive, featuring the best the Italian motherland has to offer. But don’t stop at the old country, as you’ll soon find out it pays to be adventurous when scouring the list for your favourite tipple. The first is consulting the expert sommelier we mentioned earlier, and the other is to BYO your favourite bottle.
Side note, OTTO just got awarded the Australian Good Food Guide's wine list of the year for 2018, so you know you're getting some damn fine plonk.
The set menu is concise, and a pretty good indicator that everything at OTTO is downright delicious, with three-courses of savoury dishes served share-style, and a giant tiramisu taking pride of place at the end of the meal. All visits to OTTO begin as all great meals should with marinated olives to snack on while you wait for your entrees of bresaola, served parmesan custard (we know), figs, garlic breadcrumbs, walnuts, and balsamic. There is also a delish baked buffalo ricotta, and a plate of fried local bay squid served with lime mayonnaise in store for entrees.
The mains are substantial, so you’ll want to sample a little (or a lot) from each dish. There’s no way that you could choose between the braised duck gnocchi, which is as delicious as it sounds, or the tube pasta, served with pancetta, cherry tomatoes, garlic, chili, and napolitana sauce.
Now, onto what is arguably our favourite part of the meal—dessert. The tiramisu is massive family sized, and the waiter will serve it straight onto your plate, where it’ll sit for approximately 0.5 seconds before you scoff the lot. It’s even better than it looks—trust us, because we made it our personal mission to do a thorough taste test.
OTTO is the ideal place to soak up the summer sunshine, or to head in winter if you need a reminder that our city is pretty damn beautiful (even when freezing). Between the wine and the delicate and hearty dishes, we have a feeling this one won’t disappoint. Even if you’re a food intolerance-afflicted human, or sit in camp vegan, because they also serve a seriously good vegan degustation. Yes, really.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson