Danica Voll | 21 July 2016

Above: Otto - Tagliolini Black and white long pasta, Moreton Bay Bugs, cherry tomatoes, chilli, basil and  Rangers Valley minute steak, roasted tomatoes, rocket

As one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, the Brisbane Times Good Food Guide Awards did not disappoint in recognition of Brisbane's food evolution. This year has seen chefs, managers and owners alike develop menus and service making Brisbane y one of Australia's hot spots in both fine and casual dining.

For the first time, two Brisbane restaurants have joined the three hat rank with Urbane Restaurant joining fellow Brisbane CBD restaurant Esquire. Urbane’s manager and group partner Andy Buchanan also won the Citi Service Excellence award after working with the restaurant for 15 years.

e’cco Bistro (Brisbane City) and Gerard’s Bistro (Fortitude Valley) both jumped from one to two hats joining ARIA BrisbaneEsq.GOMA Restaurant and Stokehouse Q.

undefinedSquab, blueberry, sprouts and grains at GOMA Restaurant

Claiming the title of Best New Restaurant, Otto Ristorante also took out a hat alongside Nickel Kitchen and Bar (Fortitude Valley) and The Wolfe (east Brisbane) while the city’s Restaurant II regained their previously lost hat.

South Brisbane’s eatery Gauge has taken out Queensland’s Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the year. The awards also paid homage to Brisbane’s best operators with Ian Trinkle from ARIA Brisbane taking out Sommelier of the Year while Esquire’s Angus Baker took out Young Chef of the YearBen Williamson from Gerard’s Bistro has been named Citi Chef of the Year after supping the food offerings of Gerard’s while also taking the reins of The Apo.

Not so surprisingly, The Gresham has won Bar of the Year while Blackbird Bar and Grill was awarded best in the state for its wine list written by Penny Grant.

undefinedHouse-made silken almond tofu at Gauge

After moving from degustation menus to casual dining, Anise earned the Best Bar Food Award after delivering some delicious Tasmanian truffle topped pecorino gnocchi. Cafe of the Year went to Pearl Café in Woolloongabba while local produce driven Indulge Café in Bundaberg was awarded People’s Choice Award for the second year in a row.

Regional dining took a hit in the hat department with Coast (Hervey Bay), A Touch of Salt (Townsville), Sails (Noosa Heads) and Seaduction (Surfers Paradise) all losing hats. Burleigh Heads' The Fish House, Montville's The Long Apron, Maryvale's The Peak, and Wasabi, in Noosa Heads, all retained two hat status. Nu Nu in Palm Cove took out the Santa Vittoria Regional Restaurant of the Year due to its delicious seafood, cheery staff and stylish white-and-bright dining room.

Overall, Brisbane is the country's spotlight when it comes to dining with chefs putting emphasis on local and sustainable produce.

The Brisbane Times 2017 Good Food Guide presented by Vittoria and Citi will be on sale for $9.99 in newsagents and bookstores from July 19, with all book purchases receiving free access to the new Good Food app.


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