Winner of Brisbane’s best Italian restaurants as voted by bmag readers.

The people have spoken with their plates, and The Rustic Olive has been crowned the bmag People’s Choice for Brisbane’s Best Italian Restaurant. Once you’ve experienced a meal there, it’s easy to see why. Inviting a loyalty that is almost unheard of in today’s fickle foodie culture, The Rustic Olive wins not necessarily for the fanciest food but for the genuine service, the atmosphere and the consistency. Open from 10am until late, six days a week, the restaurant is situated on the waterfront at Redcliffe and it’s this beautiful location that creates such a relaxing ambience.

And of course the food is delicious, the portion sizes are very generous and the menu is extensive, with over 30 pasta dishes, 27 pizza options and 10 salads to choose from — then there’s the entrees, mains and desserts as well. This family-friendly place is always buzzing and packed with hungry diners so be prepared to wait for a table unless you’ve booked.

We talked to owner Sam Ayache about the exciting win and asked him why he thought his restaurant came out on top.

Why do you think people voted for your restaurant?

Honestly, I think it’s the quality and service that we offer. The team we have at the restaurant is truly amazing and we have earned a very very loyal customer base. The quality of our product is consistent, we deliver what we promise every time. And people know this and keep coming back.

What dish is the most popular?

People love our Fettuccine Monaco, a pasta dish with scallops, prawns and salmon in a dill cream sauce. It’s so delicious and so popular any night of the week.

Who is the head chef? Joseph Alcala.

What makes The Rustic Olive different to other Italian restaurants?

The value we offer, the quality of the food and the consistent product. We cater to any taste by offering traditional Italian options, modern food trends and also a range of healthy choices for those who are very mindful of what they eat. Our menu is pretty extensive and covers all bases from seafood to steak to salad and pizza, pasta and desserts. And honestly, I think a big part of it is our dream team of staff. We have over 50 people who work for The Rustic Olive and most of them have been with us for over six years. They’re the backbone of the place and I am always amazed that they can keep up with the pace. But they do and they’re a big part of our success.