When their quirky, contemporary Chinese restaurant, Happy Boy, outgrew its industrial-chic warehouse digs and moved to Fortitude Valley, the Votan brothers opened this casual Italian diner in its place. They applied the same simple, sassy approach that made hits of both Happy Boy and their third venue, the French-inspired Greenglass. The brief menu stars a deeply satisfying bruschetta of charred garlic toast topped with ’nduja, creamy stracciatella, basil and ribbons of pickled onion. The pasta and grains section is short and sweet, with one gnocchi and a single pasta dish (although this changes). The latter is a handful of delicate, handmade tortelli with silky pumpkin, crisp sage, amaretti, currants and parmesan. The seafood options include grilled squid stuffed with prawn and served scattered with pickled fennel and orange, as well as a hearty stew. The Votans maintain their tradition of unearthing great wine from small Australian vineyards, with a painstaking collection of local, Italian-style vinos.
Open Tuesday-Friday for lunch and Tuesday-Saturday for dinner
Best for: Casual yet delicious Italian
Stand-out dish: Anything with 'ndjua
Fab factor: The complementary wine menu
Address: 36 Mein Street, Spring Hill
Phone number: 0421 981 882