Giardinetto – Italian Restaurant review (Brisbane)

Italian. When someone tells you that you are eating at an Italian restaurant, one will normally associate it with Pasta, Pizza, boisterous singing from the kitchen, wine and loads of Parmesan.  For me, I just thought “oh heck, this is going to be carb overload”.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love carbs.  Carbs have helped me weather many an emotional storm over the years (*sexist generalisation alert* – if I was a chick, I’d be that chick that sits on the couch sobbing into a tub of icecream surrounded by empty bags of chips after my boyfriend broke up with me), so I get the appeal behind Italian food.

Enter Giardinetto

Strategically located in the Valley – just across the road from OMFG (review to come *kidding honey*), one can find this quaint little restaurant ready to warm up your hearts and fill up your tummies.

While the decor is fairly plain (no gigantic Italian frieze occupying whole walls and no creeping ivy), but with plenty of historic looking memorablia, it is easily forgiven.  Having been around since 1966, you know that food must be better than passable (as the discerning palates of todays generation would be more than likely to slam a restaurant with negative reviews if they felt their food was not to their liking).

The Menu

No fancy menu here.  Who needs a leatherbound menu with embossed logos?  Who needs a gold trimmed menu displaying delicately scripted items?  Printed documents that show they have been handled by many, many, many patrons….that’s where it’s at.

The standard fare applies here – Pasta, Pizza, Rissotto, but where the…..well, awesomeness lies, in the fact that not only can you adapt and change the menu to suit your own palate or dietary requirements, the delightful waitress even seemed to recommend it.  Certain vegetables included? sure. Certain items excluded? sure. Extra chicken? Sure.  Do you want Carbonara with a hint of Nepolitana? sure….she’ll probably look at you funny, but you can get it.

Big Ass Servings

I didn’t finish my dish.  I fell like a failure.  I feel like every mountaineer that approached Everest before Hillary got all Kiwi and smashed his way to the top.  I was defeated.

Essentially, my Carbonara (sans Nepolitana – I’m not that adventurous) came out in a bowl that I feel resembled a cauldron in size.  Heaped with twirls of fettucine and succulent looking bacon and chicken, I threw on some parmesan, let it melt and tucked in with gusto.  The pasta was cooked perfectly (I didn’t pull a strand out to throw at a wall to test, but it felt perfectly cooked in my mouth) and with plenty of sauce and delicious meat I couldn’t go wrong.

Plenty of smiles around the table as some of the other diners dived into their seafood pizza, their vegetarian pasta or their mushroom rissotto and safe to say, we were all happy with our meals.

With plenty of foot traffic from the Valley nightlife, this restaurant is seemingly quite busy, so I would suggest booking ahead if you were looking for an Italian Carb loading session.  We will be booking in again…

7.9 / 10 Reviewer
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