Old-fashioned rivalry between the north and south sides of Brisbane dwindle as bridges multiply.
Beccofino of Teneriffe is a popular stalwart of the northside, maintaining a high standard of casual Italian fare. The owners have recently crossed the river to open a southside sister eatery, Julius Pizzeria.
You will spy its handsome concrete sign opposite Queensland Museum along Grey Street, underneath the new ARIA development, Austin. The design of the new restaurant represents the epitome of chic, contemporary dining in the subtropics—polished concrete floors, exposed timber beams, sleek and comfortable chairs—very tasteful. Aleks Dzajkovski is a professional, welcoming host at Beccofino, so it is relieving to see him here too. The other staff members are similarly enthusiastic and efficient. Aiming to try a range of classic Italian dishes, we order bruschetta to start, followed by pizza and pasta.
This bruschetta is properly made—the topping comprehensively integrating into the bread, which has been smeared with garlic. Instead of pedestrian diced tomatoes, however, at Julius we enjoy artichoke trifolati (fried in olive oil, garlic and parsley) and creamy buffalo mozzarella—a magnificent derivation of bruschetta and a tempting entrée to dinner.
Our favourite pizza appears, raised up on a stylish stand. Obviously the pizza expertise translates over the river—the chewy base, melted cheese and rich tomato-herb sauce have the same outstanding qualities as at Beccofino. This example is the Salame e Fontina, with salami, chilli and fontina cheese, but any of the pizzas will delight. We try the flat ribbon pasta with duck and tomato ragu, which is a sumptuous companion to the pizza. The delicately balanced meat flavours sing through the sauce, conducted by the structure of the pasta texture.
Even after such an elegant sufficiency I must try dessert—in this case the Frittelle di Ricotta—fried ricotta and sultana dumplings with vanilla bean icecream. The droplet-shaped dumplings are filled with fruit, refreshing the deep-fried outer layer and partnered with a perfect sphere of creaminess.
Julius is perfectly placed for a pre-QPAC show dinner, and you can book in before 6pm to be guaranteed quick service. At other times, it is best to turn up to the restaurant whenever you get hungry because they do not take bookings. North-south diplomacy has prevailed at Beccofino, making their brand of dining more accessible to a wider audience in this smart new location.
Words by Chris Hassall | Images by Rosie van de Linde
The West End Magazine was kindly hosted by Julius Pizzeria