Pizza worth frocking up for | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Pizza worth frocking up for

When you walk into a restaurant on a Tuesday night and find almost every table full, you know there’s a good meal to come. At Tartufo, there’s no such thing as a quiet night. With traditional Italian cuisine given just enough of a modern twist to make it even better than the classic version on the menu, it’s small wonder the place is full night after night. Not to mention that they can cater for everything from a romantic degustation in a cosy booth to an epic pizza feast for a party of 10, depending on your occasion – or your mood (or your relationship – date night doesn’t have to be all candles and oysters). italian restaurant brisbane tartufoMosaic floors, red leather booths and a very grand back lit bar set the mood for a classy night, though you’ll have to decide beforehand whether you’re in the mood for fine dining or ‘fast food’ – Head Chef and owner Tony Percuoco’s description for their pizza and Italian street eats offering. On one side of the restaurant, the menu is all about spectacularly plated Italian a la carte, while on the other (the side with the bar – bonus), you can order only simple share dishes like calamari and arrancini and wood fired pizzas. Here, that ‘wood firing’ happens in the domed pizza oven by the floor to ceiling windows – and watching the chefs at work is a thing to behold. Each pizza is only in the oven, which gets up to 600C, for 45-60 seconds and you can literally see the dough rise while the chefs frantically spin them to ensure an evenly golden crust. Now that’s what we call fast food. italian restaurant brisbane tartufo 2On the a la carte side, you could tuck into plates like house made linguine served with local seasonal seafood in a garlic, chilli and parsley napoletana sauce, or perhaps pepper crusted spatchcock with rosemary roasted potatoes. Or, you could go all out and feast on a Tartufo degustation: 8 courses of the most exquisite Italian you’ll ever put in your mouth, matched with gorgeous Australian and New Zealand wines. Don’t make the mistake of filling up on the crusty bread like we did, you want to save room for everything from the tender braised veal topped with tuna mayonnaise and capers, to the seasonal risotto. But most importantly, you want to have plenty of appetite left for the soft centred chocolate fondant infused with espresso, drizzled in dark chocolate sauce and finished of with dark chocolate shavings. Or not, because as soon as you see it, your appetite will return whether you’ve had enough to eat or not. tartufoWhatever you dine on, make sure you take in the family portraits lining the walls of the restaurant. If you happen to bump into Tony, he’ll happily point out his parents, grandparents and a few uncles – along with some fabulous old-school moustaches that he laments not being able to match. Tartufo is open for lunch and dinner seven days at 1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley. Words by Ranyhyn Akui