Friday, 4 July 2014

Casual Dining - Colle Rosso

It had been a little while since I'd fallen into a Sunday night rhythm of hitting an Italian restaurant for either pizza or pasta, but after our visit the weekend before to Sorellina for pizza (see post here), we felt inspired.  I've checked out most of the Italian restaurants in and around the Brisbane CBD, but not all of them, and after a quick look around, decided that Red Hill favourite, Colle Rosso was long overdue for a visit.

Colle Rosso has been around for a couple of years now and it's slowly been building a loyal fan base of locals.  Located on Musgrave Road, Colle Rosso is only a few minutes out of the CBD and actually much more convenient than you'd expect.  It was a freezing cold Sunday night when we decided to visit, so it was definitely a trip in the car, but it's close enough to the CBD that we'd be comfortable walking in warmer weather.

We'd parked the car just across the street from the restaurant and made our way across busy Musgrave Road and by the time we'd hit the front door, were eternally grateful to be out of the freezing (well, cold for Brisbane) wind and into the warm and inviting dining room.  It was a pretty quiet night, with only one table occupied when we arrived, and were shown to our table, which was right at the front of the restaurant.  We had a chuckle about our location, which was strategically great for the restaurant (showing that diners were in the restaurant), but being next to the massive plate glass windows, it was a little cold!

The dining room at Colle Rosso is quite an inviting space, with lots of Italian memorabilia over the walls including an homage to the world game - a glass enclosed number 10 guernsey from a much loved football side (soccer).  We didn't have to wait for menus to be delivered, they were already at the table and we set about deciding on what to have for dinner.  My intention had been for us to have a couple of pizzas again but SC was soon in a quandary, with some sensational looking pasta options.  In the end, we ended up mixing it up with pizza and pasta.

The restaurant is owned by David, Marco, Laura and Lisa, with the quartet splitting out the duties, David and Marco in charge of the kitchen and Laura and Lisa running the dining room. Internationally trained chefs, David and Marco, pride themselves on their ability to produce fresh, traditional meals that transport diners to Italy with rustic and authentic meals.  Their aim was to create a family friendly environment for lovers of Italian cuisine to enjoy their food, over and over again.

I'd wanted to visit Colle Rosso ever since I'd seen an article that rated their pizzas in the top ten in Brisbane (see article here).  I've had some pretty decent pizza around town and wanted to see if I could add another to my list of top pizza joints, it would have to be fabulous to beat Beccofino or Sorellina.  Of course I'd ordered the margherita, which is the most traditional of pizzas and the hardest to hide from, it's just pizza base, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.  Once my pizza was delivered, I had extremely high hopes, it looked juuuusst right, with a deep red sauce and brilliant contrasting white/yellow of the cheese.  I even loved the contrasting splash of green from the basil leaves (even though I never eat them). 

I took my first bite expecting a 'wow' moment.......  And only got a 'meh'.  It's not that the pizza was bad, not at all, it just didn't quite hit the highs I'd been expecting.  I think my main issue was the pizza base, which was not quite thin enough and therefore had a slightly cardboard texture to it (not that I've eaten cardboard).  I thought the tomato base was nice as well, but it could have used just a little more punch and given the thickness of the base, it probably could have used a little more mozzarella. 

I'd made my choice and still quite enjoyed the pizza, but I definitely had a little case of food envy when SC's pasta was presented.  The ravioli di ossobuco alla norcina - home made egg pasta filled with veal ossobuco in a black truffle creamy sauce and porcini mushrooms just looked amazing.  The large ravioli pieces had generous amounts of tasty veal incased in well cooked pasta and then smothered in a beautiful and creamy truffle sauce.  There was an earthy flavour that was quite pronounced and gave an indication that the truffle was likely truffle oil and not fresh truffles (which are much more subtle in flavour).  Not that this mattered at all, they tasted wonderful and for the first time in ages, I'd regretted not ordering pasta when pizza was on offer.

We were in for a flying visit, so didn't linger around for dessert, but that was partly because there were no options that really jumped out and said 'eat me, now'.  

It must have been too cold for most people to venture out for the evening as it remained very quiet for the duration of our visit.  This allowed us to be pampered and well looked after by our waitress that had an extremely cute accent that we couldn't quite place but decided was Italian (after all, we were in an Italian restaurant).  There was no vibe to speak of in the restaurant, but that would be expected on such a quiet night, but it looked as if the dining room would feel right at home packed with families enjoying a delightful bowl of pasta on a Friday or Saturday night.

Even thought I didn't get overly excited about my pizza, there was enough on the menu to get us excited about another visit, this time just for the pasta dishes.  The menu at Colle Rosso is not overly extensive, but it does cater to a wide range of tastes and looks to specifically cater to families with children, which would be a key demographic in Red Hill.

While I didn't get the pizza experience I was hoping for, we've now got a new pasta place for Sunday night pasta!

Its quite a large space in Colle Rosso
The laminated menus reminded us of an old rustic Italian restaurant 
The truffle sauce and the veal ossobuco ravioli was a standout
I agree with the pasta passing muster but the pizza was not quite there
It was a cold night - I think we would have liked the fire inside!

Colle Rosso Ristorante Italiano on UrbanspoonColle Rosso Ristorante Italiano


  1. That pasta looks spectacular! :)

    1. It was superb Sapphira - really good nosh!

  2. When you wrote that ravioli just look good, i thought how it is possible that they don't taste nice as they look! Nice review!

    1. Cheers mate, its great when things taste as good as they look. :)

    2. I agree, and it is generally expected to taste nice if it looks like that, in other case i would be very disappointed. :) Cheers.

    3. My search for great pizza continues :)


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