The launch of the third Brisbane Times Good Food Guide sets the scene for another year of interesting dining in Brisbane and Queensland.
It's a smaller book this year, reflecting publishing constraints rather than the state of the local food scene which is buzzing with energy and anticipation.
Top honour, Vittoria Coffee Restaurant of the Year, went to Gerard's Bistro where the talented Ben Williamson's menu continues to intrigue and amaze diners.
"The restaurant of the year is not about being the most formal or the most expensive - it's about a place we want to go back to again and again," says Good Food Guide editor Natascha Mirosch.
"We look for a restaurant that offers the whole package - great food, service and a certain ambience - that doesn't mean it has to be a three hatted restaurant or even a two hat. Gerard's is absolutely about how we eat right now - a gorgeous fit out and a casual but highly imaginative share plate menu."
Natasch flagged several Brisbane/Queensland dining trends
- a decrease in fine dining
- increased love of everything American in dining
- shorter, more relevant wine lists
- quinoa trumping cous cous
- bye bye slate plates and hello quirky 70s style glazed pottery
- innovative breakfasts for a city that loves to dine early
HatsApart from the awards, the most highly anticipated event is the announcement of the Hats.
City and suburbs
2 Aria, Stokehouse, Urbane
1 85 Miskin Street, Toowong; Black Hide Steakhouse, Petrie Terrace; Cinco Bistro, Camp Hill; E'cco Bistro, Brisbane; The Euro, Brisbane; The Foraging Quail, New Farm; GOMA Restaurant, South Brisbane; Gerard's Bistro, Fortitude Valle; Il Centro, Brisbane; Jellyfish, Brisbane; Malt Dining, Brisbane; Moda, Brisbane; Prive 249, Brisbane; Public, Brisbane; Reserve, Milton; Restaurant Two, Brisbane; Sake, Brisbane; Tartufo, Fortitude Valley; Vintaged, Brisbane.
2 The Fish House, Burleigh Heads; The Long Apron, Montville; The Tamarind, Maleny; Wasabi Restaurant & Bar, Noosa Sound.
1 Allure on Currumbin, Currumbin; Berardo's, Noosa Heads; Chill on Tedder, Main Beach; Coast, Hervey Bay; Harrisons, Port Douglas; Nu Nu, Palm Cove; Ristorante Fellini, Main Beach; Rock Salt, Broadbeach; Salt Grill, Surfers Paradise; Spirit House, Yandina; Tamarind, Cairns; Ten Japanese, Broadbeach; Vanitas, Main Beach.
Who won awards?Citi Chef of the Year went to Ryan Squires of Esquire taking over from Alejandro Cancino of Urbane
The Villa Maria, New Zealand Best New Restaurant award went to The Foraging Quail, Minh Le's new restaurant in New Farm.
Young Chef of the Year, judged in a cook off supervised by a panel of peers including Philip Johnson, went to Ben Devlin of Esquire.
La Maison Du The Regional Restaurant of the Year - The Fish House, Burleigh Heads
BYO Restaurant of the Year - Cinco Bistro, Camp Hill
Citi Service Excellence - Scott Durietz, Baguette, Ascot
Champagne Pol Roger Sommelier of the Year - Penny Grant Black Bird, Brisbane
Wine List of the Year - Bacchus, South Bank
Drink List of the Year - Black Bird, Brisbane
Best Bar with Food - The Sangria Bar, South Bank
BrisbaneTimes.com.au Best Food Under 30 - Kwan Brothers, Fortitude Valley
Vittoria Coffee Legend- Andy Georges Il Centro, Brisbane.
The Brisbane Times Queensland Good Food Guide 2014/15 will be available from 8 July 2014 at participating newsagents for $12.99, online at brisbanetimes.com.au/goodfoodguide.
And they are promising a Good Food Guide App, available from the Apple store in July with more reviews and regular updates which will be mandatory to keep up with the frenetic line up of restaurant/cafe/bar openings in Brisbane.
Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a reviewer for the Good Food Guide.