Sunday, 4 November 2012

Beccofino - my favorite Italian

The view on the way to Beccofino
Sunday night is pasta night.  I can't really say when this tradition started but SC and I have found ourselves imbued with a ritual of Sunday pasta.  Sure, there are times when we succumb and have something else, in fact for a short while Sunday became Mexican night (Guzman y Gomez), but we are always drawn back to pasta.

For the last few years Beccofino has been our mainstay and is located near the water over at Newstead.  It seems as if Beccofino has been around forever.  While we only 'discovered' it a few years ago, I had heard about it from many friends who described it as having the best pizza in town.  Beccofino also has a 'no reservations' policy so if you come late, it can be quite a bit of a wait at the bar for a table to become available.  This is not normally a problem for us as we like to eat early on a Sunday.

We live in the CBD and Newstead is within easy walking distance, so what better way to spend a glorious Sunday evening than walking to Beccofino and building our appetite for what lay ahead!  The walk took us around 30 minutes and we had the opportunity to enjoy the fabulous setting that is Brisbane at this time of the year.  With the sun slowly setting we finally reached our destination and were warmly greeted and ushered to our usual table.

We set about deciding what we would have for dinner tonight, of course pasta was going to be a clear option but we also love the pizzas at Beccofino, which very much remind us of the traditional Roman pizzas we had while in Italy last year.  We were also considering an entree to share as the walk over had the desired effect of increasing our appetites.  Once decided and our orders taken, fresh bread and beautiful extra virgin olive oil was delivered to the table to get us started.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The entree that we decided on was the Calamari fritti con rucola (Fried baby calamari with rocket and lemon).  One of the things that works very well for SC and I at Beccofino is that the food is delivered promptly and in short order our calamari was placed in front of us.  For an entree size, there was a lot of calamari on the plate!  The calamari was lightly dusted with flour and cooked to perfection.  As you probably know, calamari needs to be cooked just right, otherwise it is rubbery and quite awful.  Our calamari tonight had just enough texture to it to make it interesting in the mouth.  It was good on its own, but with a sprinkling of salt and a heavy dose of lemon, the calamari became something special.  It was sweet and had just a hint of the sea and was clearly extremely fresh.

Simple calamari, wonderful

One dish that I find hard to ignore on the Beccofino menu is the Pappardelle al Ragu d'Anatra (Flat ribbon pasta with a duck and tomato ragu).  I think it would be fair to say that it is in my top three dishes at any restaurant in Brisbane.  I am not the only one who thinks this.  As with many restaurants, the menu changes regularly at Beccofino but the Duck Ragu is a mainstay.  I was once told by one of the staff that they would have a riot on their hands if they ever decided to remove it.  The ragu is a very simple plate to look at but there is a lot going on in this one dish.  Tender brown duck meat, fresh rich tomato sauce that has a complexity that is hard to describe, perfectly cooked flat ribbon pasta.  The tomato is intense and perfectly balanced with the strong duck taste.  The balance of tomato ragu, duck and pasta is spot on, you never feel that you will run out of any of the delicious elements.  It is a masterpiece of italian cooking and a must for your next visit here.

My favorite the duck ragu

After seriously considering the special, which was predominantly clams, SC decided on the Paccheri al Gamberi e Calamari (Large tubular pasta with prawns, calamari and cherry).  This was a lovely looking plate of pasta with extremely vibrant colours that contrasted well.  There was a hint of heat in this dish with just enough chili to make it interesting, but not enough to overpower the subtle flavour of the calamari and prawns.  The pasta was cooked to perfection and the sauce that accompanied it blended perfectly with just the right amount of calamari and prawns.  SC added freshly grated parmesan cheese which added some additional punch.

Calamari and prawns with a hint of chilli

When looking at the dessert menu, we could not be separated in our choice and both ended up ordering the Panna cotta (Vanilla bean panna cotta with fresh strawberries and balsamic vinegar).  When you think of Italian desserts, panna cotta pretty much always springs to mind, which is why we both locked onto this so quickly.  The pannacotta came and held its shape very well, there is nothing worse than getting the pannacotta to the table, only to have it collapse.  The strawberries were fresh and  the vanilla bean flavour shone through.  Panna cotta can sometimes be very sweet and this one was on the sweeter side of what I would have liked, however, the balsamic vinegar helped cut through the sweetness and balance the flavour really well.  The only small problem was that if you put too much balsamic vinegar on the spoon, it overpowered the rest of the dish.  It was a real balancing act to keep this one in the 'goldilocks' zone.

The vanilla pannacotta

We were sitting outside to enjoy the evening and as the night slowly overtook the day, we were feeling sated and comfortable.  Having just come off a detox, SC was feeling a little on the full side but I was feeling pretty good.  What added to my feelings of bliss was the knowledge that we had all the time in the world to walk back home.  On a day like today, its easy to see why Sunday dinner at Beccofino has become a tradition, one that I hope to keep for years to come.


The view from our seat

Beccofino on Urbanspoon


  1. Good thing you were able to find a place that fits you the most. If it has the "best pizza in town", then it should be doing something right! Different people have different taste buds, and to win over that many people is quite an achievement. :)


  2. Too true, the wonderful thing about food and eating is that it's so subjective! It's true that I think this is the best pizza in town at the moment, but I have thought that about others in the past and am sure I will find a new pizza delight at some point in the future :)


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