Bucci, Fortitude Valley

Taking a lead from current sharing dining trends, Bucci Brisbane have scrapped their old menu and launched into a brave new world where your decisions revolve around pesce, carne, verdure and dolce.

If you'd prefer it in English that's fish, meat, vegetables and sweets.

It's a clever concept where the lighter meals are at the top, working down to larger dishes at the bottom making ordering simple.  If you become confused, there's always knowledgable wait staff on hand who will help you find your way.

So now it's all up to you!  Pick a series of small dishes to share between a group or just enjoy on your own. And if you still want to have a big boy steak it's still there. the 400gm Diamantina Hereford cross Wagyu rib on the bone comes with  palate fit and Bucci's own mustards.

Here's what you'll find - start with carpaccio de maiale which is a ham hock carpaccio with walnuts and pecorino.

The crostini con sardine (doesn't that sound so much better than sardines on toast?) was picture perfect (see the top photo) and looked more like a sweet eclair than a savoury bite.  However the flavour was rich and spicy with preserved tomatoes, lemon aioli, sorrel and finger lime.

Perhaps my favourite dish was the interesting flavour of the house smoked ricotta which came decorated with garden greens, rhubarb and pistachio, with sliced apple and sprigs of mint throughout.  We spread this on crusty ciabatta.  I think I could live on this dish!

Hard to resist are the capesante salmoriglio - six moist Hervey Bay scallops with a dressing of oregano and lemon with fermented chilli aioli and topped with pancetta crumbs.

Mushroom risotto balls stuffed with creamy Fontina cheese with sticky preserved blueberries spattered across the plate certainly tasted as good as it looks.

These Queensland calarami hoods stuffed with potato, fresh herbs, breadcrumbs and parmesan have been fried and come with smoked chilli. rocket and lemon.  They are a filling treat.

Unfortunately I had to leave before some of the larger dishes emerged from the kitchen and dessert. I'm heading back for Chocolate Nemesis Del which promises the best chocolate cake ever with vanilla mascarpone and crushed frozen raspberries.

Recommended for:  Those who like Italian with a local twist
Bottom line: Share plates start at $5 each but average around $12.50.  Main sized meals are around $22 to $33.
Best tip: Have a drink in Bucci's bar next door and make your evening out a real event.

Find Buccici in James Street, Fortitude Valley.

Kerry Heaney

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of Bucci for lunch.