A Redcliffe waterfront regular, I've come to regard The Rustic Olive as the cupid of Moreton Bay's foodies.
To pass between the restaurant's scenically-positioned outdoor tables and its welcoming entrance is to find yourself immersed in the happy talk and gossip of domestic day-trippers, foreign tourists and about half of Redcliffe's community.
Indeed, this family-run Italian restaurant is where it's at.
I'm usually not a fan of Italian restaurants for two reasons.
First, they're almost always marketed as "authentic" … which translates to ordinary meals with few ingredients. You think you've ordered something spectacular because you can't pronounce the name of the meal, and out comes a bit of mozzarella on bread with a dab of tomato paste. Mmm Mmm.
Second, this "authentic" bit of mozzarella on bread with a dab of tomato paste generally comes at a ridiculous cost and leaves you regretting your order and/ or restaurant choice.
My first time at The Rustic Olive, I scrutinised the menu with this mentality.
The second time, I brought a group of friends along.
By the third time, the restaurant had become my go-to place for scrumptious Italian cuisine or a creamy Di Bella coffee.
Offering a range of entrees, salads, risottos, pastas, pizzas and mains, The Rustic Olive menu reads like poetry to hungry eyes.
Most importantly the prices are reasonable ($10-$15 for the lunch menu and a $20 average for the dinner menu).
The Rustic Olive also caters for special occasions with a set Catering Menu or one designed to meet individual needs. Large groups can choose from various Banquet Menu options.
Perhaps you should visit and make your own mind up. I enjoy the food and atmosphere of the Olive, so am probably a bit biased, but I'm not alone. If you head along Redcliffe parade in the evening you will see the Olive is busy most nights and you have to book in advance if you want a table on Friday or Saturday nights. As for the food, whether you are a carnivore, herbivore, vegan or fishy,there are delicious food options for everyone. My favourites are too many to list, but I would give a special mention to the cheese calzone, blue cheese gnocchi, carbonara, and the pizzas, my veggie son also swears by the salads (as a meat lover I tend to swear at them :)
I have to disagree with you about the ‘authentic’ Italian Restaurant you refer to. I have a Italian background and have lived in Italy for years and can tell you regardless of where you go in Italy you will not find:
* Tandori and chicken pizzas
* Satay chicken pizza
* Moroccan lamb salads
* Snow peas or chorizo sausage in an Italian sauce
* Saltimbocca made with tomato sauce and olives
* Cajun pasta sauce?
The menu describes the Panna Cotta as baked cream? Even an MKR contestant knows that a Panna Cotta is not baked at all!!! Have I made my point ?
With your comments you have insulted all the Italian restaurants in Brisbane.. a few are Beccofino, La Via, Bucci, Mario’s, Vine Ristorante, Tartufo, and the 3 Italian restaurants in Redcliffe, all run and owned by Italian families, Mama’s, Marcello’s and What’s In The Pot! It is great to read about a successful restaurant and how it has become very popular with locals and visitors, but please don’t refer to this restaurant as “authentic Italian” By the way did you know the owner and head chef is actually “Lebanese” maybe that explains the use of paprika as a garnish on all plates?.
Thank you for your comment - many locals have urged me to go to this restaurant, but have never got there - now that I know it's not "authentic" will be visiting one of the others you listed.
Just want to reiterate my reply to Ian - no where in my article have I said I like the Rustic Olive because of its 'authenticity'. In fact, I like it because it isn't authentic - it seems to have taken everything that's great about Mediterranean (mostly Italian) cuisine and presents this in a something-for-everyone menu.
But thanks for your readership and I'll be clearer about my points of view in future articles :)
I will never visit the Olive again! I dined there with a group of work colleagues. We were packed in like sardines. I waited over one hour for my remaining pizza to be boxed, so I could take it home! One of my workmates asked when it would be returned as we wished to leave. When it was brought to our table it was basically thrown on the table in a piece of very crumpled alfoil. When I phoned the next day to advise the owner that I was not happy with the service he became very aggressive yelling "I don't know where you are getting this stuff from, my staff would never do that!" Well Sam they did! I do not like being accused of lying. I never became agitated or angry, just told the facts as they were. I even offered to drive back down to show him what had been returned to me. I threw the pizza in the bin, as I am sure this is where the alfoil had been retrieved from! Someone needs to learn about customer service! I would advise everyone to never set foot in this restaurant! DISGUSTING!!