BRISBANE is in the running for a record six awards in the 2011 Gourmet Traveller Awards more than any other capital, including Sydney, which has racked up just five.
The city’s diners and bars received a glowing report card from Gourmet Traveller’s chief critic Pat Nourse.
“I eat in Brisbane a few times a year and have done so over the last decade or so and this is one of the biggest shifts I’ve seen,” he said.
Fortitude Valley restaurant Ortiga was nominated for New Restaurant of the Year with Mr Nourse commenting that he found it “one of the most exciting restaurants to visit”.
“Whether it was in New York or London, Sydney or Brunswick St, Ortiga is benchmarking excellent food, wine and service,” he said.
Urbane pastry chef Shaun Quade, who moved here from Victoria to take up a position in the revamped fine diner in October, has been put forward as Best New Talent.
“If the guys from MasterChef think tangling with Adriano Zumbo is an eye-opener, wait till they get a load of this guy,” Mr Nourse said.
Two Queensland restaurants, Aria and 1889 Enoteca, received nominations for their wine lists.
“What’s very interesting is that Brisbane restaurants have always punched above their weight for the quality of their wine,” Mr Nourse said. “1889 Enoteca has one of the most interesting lists you’ll find anywhere in Australia.”
He also praised the professionalism of Brisbane’s bar culture, mentioning hot spots such as The Bowery, Mana Bar, Laruche, The Lark and Cloudland.
“Of course you can’t talk about Brisbane without mentioning Logan Rd, with two blocks of concentrated awesomeness like Enoteca and The Crosstown Eating House,” Mr Nourse said, adding that it was an “exciting time in Brisbane”.