Il Verde is a little slice of Italy nestled along King Street, Brisbane Showgrounds new dining precinct in Bowen Hills, dishing up authentic Italian fare like hearty pastas and wood-fired pizzas.
Siblings Simon and Dom Barakat (whose family has owned popular Italian eatery Gino’s in Hamilton for more than thirty years) together with Dom’s partner, chef Ibrahim ‘Bob’ Haddad, have created a casual-style trattoria with modern décor – think polished concrete flooring, Italian tiles, rustic bricks and communal tables (including luxe leather booths) – ideal for sharing a meal with family and friends.
The name Il Verde, Italian for ‘the green’, reflects the menu; everything is made in house using fresh, local produce. Start with classic bruschetta (house made bread with diced heirloom tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, sweet basil leaves, oregano and garlic), bite sized wild mushroom arancini or antipasto platter with three different cheeses, Italian cured meats and seasonal chargrilled vegetables like eggplant, pumpkin and zucchini.
Or start with a salad such as smoked salmon with wild rocket, sliced onion, cherry tomatoes and lemon & dill dressing or classic Caprese salad with buffalo mozzarella, heirloom tomato wedges, sweet basil and extra virgin olive oil.
Ample pasta dishes include spaghetti tossed in chilli infused olive oil with wild caught prawns and grana padano cheese, spaghetti bolognese with traditional bolognese sauce and wagyu beef, linguine with house made pesto cream, and orecchiette with Italian sausage, taleggio cheese, creamy sauce and crispy pancetta.
Wood-fired pizzas range from ‘rossa’ topped with house made tomato sauce to ‘bianca’ cheese based pizzas. There’s Margherita, Napoletana, Primavera (seasonal vegetables and Italian herbs) and Il Verde (rocket, cherry tomatoes, fresh mushrooms and shaved parmesan); while cheesy pizzas include Genovese (fior di latte and pecorino cheeses, pesto and sliced tomatoes) and Marco Polo (provolone, chicken, mushroom, capsicum, onion and oregano).
Otherwise, there’s risotto – like frutti di mare with baby octopus, prawns, calamari and mussels – lamb cutlets, Cape Grim rib fillet, fish of the day and Pollo Alla Diavola or Devil’s Style Grilled Chicken (deboned chicken marinated with dried orange peel, rosemary, garlic and chilli).
Must try desserts includes tiramisu, panna cotta with passionfruit sauce, cannoli and house made gelato.
Fully licensed, patrons can sip Aperol Spritz, Dirty Martinis, Mojitos, Bellinis or try Il Verde’s signature drink made with midori, dry martini, apple juice and prosecco. The carefully curated wine list includes a selection of Australian and Italian wines - white, red, rose, sparkling, sweet and moscato; while International and domestic beer is available bottled and on tap.
Nice to know – Il Verde is child-friendly and offers a small menu for kids including spaghetti bolognese, gnocci pomodoro (house made tomato sauce with sweet basil, cherry tomatoes and freshly grated cheese) and chicken nuggets and chips.
By Deb Lidster