Saturday, 13 December 2014

Breakfast Series - Bar Pacino

I almost sound like a broken record, but it's amazing how many new spots are opening up around Brisbane, with new venues seemingly opening on a daily basis.  There are also so many older buildings in the CBD that are getting a make over, that it's hard to count them all.  Of course, a new facade means a new cafe or restaurant opening.  I've been watching the old CUA building (otherwise known as the Hopoate Building due to the installation art) go through its make over recently and was excited to learn about another new dining spot.

Taking a slightly different approach, the team behind new Italian bar e ristorante (bar and restaurant) have literally built new floor space behind the building, almost like land reclamation. Giuseppe Petroccitto, of the Bellezza Group, is the man behind Bar Pacino and has done a wonderful job with the fit out.  With floor to ceiling glass windows, the restaurant and bar has arguably the best view of the Story Bridge and Brisbane river in Queensland.

I'd been looking for an opportunity to get across the street to check out the newly opened Bar Pacino and after a few false starts (it was stupidly busy for the first week or so), I arranged to get across for a breakfast.  You're probably aware by now that I am moving from Brisbane to Hong Kong in early January, so I'd been looking for times to catch up with mates before I head off. Fellow foodie and former Brisbane food blogger, JC from Feed Me Now Brisbane was my dining companion for the morning and I was really looking forward to catch up before I finally leave our shores.

Our usual breakfast catch ups are mid week and fairly early, so we can get back to our respective jobs at a decent time.  The last time we'd caught up, JC's car had been towed and it had cost her a mint to get the car returned.  This time, she'd taken an Uber ride, which seemed to be JC's preferred mode of transport of late (at the time I'd not tried Uber, but I have now and I understand why!) but as a consequence, was a few minutes late.

Once JC arrived, we wandered around to Bar Pacino and grabbed a seat that had spectacular views of the river, which were especially lovely given the beautiful morning.  Looking around the interior, there was a large bar area inside the main building with loads of seating options outside and on the newly constructed back deck area.  There were not a lot of people about and our friendly waiter made his way over with a couple of menus and advised that it was counter service, and when we were ready to order, come on over.  

The menu was a fairly traditional style, with mostly recognisable options available and a list of sides that could be added to any order.  The menu looked quite fresh and healthy, with a number of the options including avocado as the main ingredient.  There was also a huge looking fry up called the Pacino, which included eggs, pork and fennel sausage, bacon, haloumi, Italian flat mushrooms, slow roasted tomato and pane de casa toast.  Making up our minds, we wandered off to the bar and placed our orders, which included freshly squeezed OJ, that was not quite freshly squeezed and came out of a bottle behind the bar (we watched them being poured).

JC is a bit partial to Eggs Benne (in fact, she's ordered eggs benne every breakfast we've had), and continued the tradition by ordering the Bar Pacino version.  JC's huge breakfast came with poached eggs, fresh spinach, slow roasted tomato and house hollandaise on toasted sourdough. What was missing with the dish was the option of smoked salmon or bacon and while the perfectly cooked eggs and wonderful hollandaise sauce was good, it really missed the extra texture and flavour of bacon (which would have been JC's choice).  In fact, it's not really an eggs bennedict without ham or bacon, so something for the team to think about there.

I'd ordered the bacon and eggs (cooked my way, scrambled) that came with pane de casa toast, but added a few sides.  Reflecting back on my order, I should have just ordered the The Pacino, 'cause I ordered pretty much everything on the signature dish, minus the sausage - and I paid quite a bit more because of my tactical error - oh well.  I really liked my roasted tomatoes, which were seasoned nicely and the haloumi was superb, but I through my huge Italian flat mushrooms could have had just a little more seasoning.  My eggs, on the other hand, had more than enough salt to season the whole plate twice over, and were unfortunately hard to eat.  The texture and consistency was perfect, they just tasted of salt.

After we'd finished our breakfast, we wandered around the restaurant area to take a few photos and bumped into Giuseppe, who introduced himself and gave us a little bit of a tour of the restaurant area. He was particularly proud of the bright red Swedlinghaus slicer that took pride of place in the VIP area of the bar.  Initially purchased to try, the kitchen staff loved the machine so much, Giuseppe bought two, one for the kitchen and one for display.  He even gave us a little demonstration of how the bad boy worked!

Giuseppe also showed us the huge mural of Al Pacino in the foyer of the main building and the obvious inspiration for the name of the bar e ristorante.  It was pretty cool.

We'd had an OK breakfast that still had some kinks that will need to be ironed out to make sure that Bar Pacino is seen as a legitimate breakfast force in Brisbane CBD.  There are not a lot of good breakfast spots in the CBD, and Bar Pacino does have one of the best, Pour Boy (see here), as competition - just across the street.  At the moment, it doesn't look as if breakfast is the main gig of Bar Pacino, with the main focus on the evening and cocktail menus (I have been for some of the awesome cocktails too).

With a great location and plenty of potential, newcomer Bar Pacino has the world at it's feet.  I'm hoping when I come back to visit Brisbane in the future, it's found it's niche and is kicking it.

The OJ's were clearly squeezed from oranges recently, but didn't have that really fresh taste you get with freshly squeezed OJ
Huge plates of food but there were things to improve with both dishes
A little extra seasoning on the mushrooms and they would have been perfect - a lot less in the eggs was needed
My haloumi and tomato were spot on though
The whole back of the dining area was like reclaimed land!
Bar Pacino is a bar as well
The cool meat slicer
So popular with staff there was one for the kitchen and one for display

Bar Pacino on UrbanspoonBar Pacino

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks very much for your comment, I really love and appreciate feedback and your thoughts


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...