Good quality Italian cuisine at an affordable price is a rarity in Brisbane, but the new Spaghetti House Trattoria delivers on all fronts. Set in the heart of West End, we were so impressed by our first visit just last month, that we have been back twice since.
The restaurant setting is intimate, with floor to ceiling wine racks, specials written on gold framed mirrors and a large community dining table surrounded by smaller tables which extend to back and street dining areas. Each table is adorned with complimentary breadsticks, olives and pickled vegetables.
The staff are charming and attentive, and enjoy rattling off the specials in order to practice their English. The menu is extensive and traditional, with gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options. Here are some of our favourite dishes so far.
The Patate Fritte, hand cut potato fried and served with rosemary and aioli were not the crunchy chips we expected - they were long and soggy strips of potato which were surprisingly tasty, and the accompanying aioli was delicious.
My absolute favourite so far is the Risotto con Zucca or pumpkin risotto - it's not much to look at and the photo does not do it justice, but it is superb and bursting with bold flavours. This is the entree size which at $12.50 is a meal on its own; it also comes in a larger size for $15.90 as do most of the pastas. The servings are generous, with the exception of the 2 ravioli dishes which err on the slighter side.
The Gnocchi alla Romano comes in a close second for me - potato gnocchi with brown butter, sage and parmesan ($15.90 large). The gnocchi is fresh and delectable, the brown butter generous, intense and sage infused - this is not a meal for the calorie conscious.
Meat eaters recommend the iconic Spaghetti Bolognese and a house specialty Ossobuco alla Milanese - sliced veal shanks braised with soffritto and red wine ($19.90). The veal is tender, cooked to perfection and the broth laden with luscious flavours.
The restaurant is fully licenced and BYO for wine only. They have no website as yet but word must be spreading as it seems to be difficult to get a table without a booking. Our last visit there was with a party of ten and there was not a single complaint, a testament to the vision, passion and skill of the proprietors.
The Spaghetti House Trattoria is serving up fabulous Italian cuisine at an affordable price, and is a welcome addition to the burgeoning West End dining culture.