When the waiter sits you down and asks if you're there for the cheese wheel, it can only be a sign of good things to come.
Il Verde is on King Street, Fortitude Valley. Nestled between a dumpling bar and a hipster fried chicken joint, the modern Italian restaurant is far enough away from the Brunswick Street revellers to provide a sophisticated yet relaxed dining experience.
They offer larger tables for groups as well as more casual seating at the bar where, on certain nights, you can sit within close earshot of some mellow live guitar. The restaurant attracts a varied crowd of young professionals through to older groups and couples.
Il Verde's menu lists an affordable range of starters, and the expected selection of crispy wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta. You know that perfect looking pizza you see on Instagram: thin crust, fresh rocket, and bubbling cheese? Il Verde nails it – in both the look and taste departments. While we're on the topic of cheese, the wheel referred to earlier is large enough to require its own cart, and is dished up from the depths of its melted, oozing centre.
With entrees and desserts around $12 and mains in the $25 range, the restaurant slots nicely into the mid-range budget. The drinks menu keeps things simple with a selection of tap and bottled beers, Italian and local wines, and a few cocktails to round it off.
If you're looking for tasty modern Italian, in a nice setting the Valley where you can actually hear the conversation, then Il Verde should be on the list. They're open from Monday to Saturday for lunch or dinner.