Thirty something girl, originally from Sydney but Brisbane is home now. Eats, drinks, socialises, watches art-house, studies the stars, and loves music. I'm a professional copywriter and editor. Hearts writing things.
Published September 10th 2012
Basement style eatery and bar
When someone utters the words 'casual dining' or 'boutique cider bar' it doesn't take much to tempt me, particularly when they come together in the same sentence. That's why it was no surprise I found myself heading to Verve Restaurant and Cider House for some cheeky mid-week eats and drinks recently.
Verve is situated in the basement of the Metro Arts building on Edward Street in Brisbane's CBD. I'd heard big things about this place from close friends, but was sadly a little disappointed.
From the moment you descend the bright red stairs and scan across the stained concrete floors, exposed brick interior and low-set cement rendered ceilings, it's easy to see why the place has student and art-world appeal. Dim mood lighting teamed with bright orange seats, wooden tables and oddball art, give the place a garage feel that exudes cool. Some tables are also tucked away in little alcoves if you prefer a more private dining experience.
The lunch/dinner menu features an array of typically Italian inspired dishes such as pastas, pizzas and risottos, along with a small selection of fish, chicken and meat dishes. The starters range from $6 to $9, pizzas are all $17, and the mains are priced between $18 and $35.
My friend and I had a craving for pasta, so we ordered the Pescatore Linguine ($22) with scallops, prawns, roasted bell pepper, olive, fresh pepper and olive oil, and the Pork Belly Linguine ($22) with roasted garlic, chilli, pork belly, shitake mushrooms, English spinach and mint. After ordering our food, my friend went for a quick trip to the bar (though they also do table service) and by the time he returned, our meals had already arrived. Now I'm not usually one to complain about fast service but we were a little wary about the freshness of the meals considering they were brought out in record time. Given both pastas tasted exceptionally oily, we suspected the meals were probably precooked and heavily preserved, then just re-heated.
However, I was impressed by the rows and rows of delicious fruity cider which lined the drink fridge. The extensive collection ranged from sweet to dry styles and everything in between. Staff are on hand to make recommendations for people like me who can't decide what they want. I tried the pear flavoured Kelly Brothers cider and Hills cider – which taste nice if you like the sweeter stuff.
I have to give this place the thumbs down for its acoustics because once people filed in and it got busy it also got really, really NOISY (yes, that's me shouting), and for the fact our meals didn't seem very fresh.
However with a chalkboard slogan that reads 'When the sun goes down, so do our (drink) prices', how can you resist giving it a go. I know I'll certainly give it another try, especially since I liked the ambience of the place, the prices were reasonable, and I was literally in cider heaven!