A truly great business restaurant performs a balancing act. It’s smart, of course, but certainly not stuffy. It’s lively but not cacophonous. It serves food that’s accessible but not boring. It’s in a central location and has waiters who know how to work a crowd. And you’d better add well-spaced tables to that list of essentials, because you don’t want to risk any corporate eavesdropping, do you?
Otto Ristorante, Brisbane
Newbie Otto brings a dose of hearty Italian food and a corporate, linen-clad setting to central Brisbane, with show-stopping views over the Brisbane River from its fourth-floor position above Queen Street. Otto’s southern Mediterranean heart means you can look forward to easygoing dishes such as burrata with panzanella salad, quail saltimbocca and wood- fired calamari with semi- dried tomatoes, all backed by a vibrant Italian wine list.
Grossi Florentino Grill, Melbourne
The business lunch is a time-honoured tradition at Grossi Florentino Grill; ditto the business dinner. On occasion, the first might even merge into the second, such is the sense of bonhomie at this top-end-of-Bourke-Street institution recently revamped with a masculine lustre and a wood-fired grill to lick premium meats into charry-skinned loveliness. The waiters have Italian charm to the max, as does the wine list.
Flash central Perth hotel Como The Treasury (pictured at top) scores again with its rooftop restaurant, where spectacular views of the Swan River, St George’s Cathedral and Kings Park compete with a fit-out of glass and marble. A locally sourced menu (South West marron with river greens and brown butter emulsion; emu smoked over jarrah embers) brings plenty of interest to the proceedings, particularly for interstate or overseas visitors.
The Bridge Room, Sydney
Befitting a restaurant at the pointy end of the Sydney food chain, The Bridge Room is a favourite of the business crowd – and for good reason. There’s the Nordic aesthetic, the location near Circular Quay and the finessed modern-Australian food by owner-chef Ross Lusted backed by a swoon-worthy cellar. Choose from an à la carte or tasting menu. It’s pricey either way but it’s worth it.
Bentley Restaurant + Bar, Sydney
With spacious and seriously slick interiors by acclaimed designer Pascale Gomes-McNabb (we love the pick-up-sticks ceiling installation) and a relaxed vibe led by the buzzing open kitchen, this Sydney CBD venue is ideal for business dining. The food from Brent Savage ticks the boxes of raw and cured, charcuterie and wood grill. There are also great options for any vegetarians in the group.