Combining Latin flavours with local ingredients, Rico Bar & Dining is serving up a strong Spanish influence to savour this summer. And, I got to try it first hand.
Once upon a time when I first moved to Brisbane back in 2010, I sat in this very space and dined with an unforgettable view of The Story Bridge. Almost 10 years later, I’m back at the same spot that’s replaced Aria Restaurant – riverside at Rico Bar and Dining. Still as much the iconic bend of Eagle Street Pier it’s always been known for, Rico sits new, on-fleck and overflowing with freshness on every plate.
The brains behind the modern and glamorous dining destination is owner Michael Tassis, who’s no stranger to the precinct with George’s Paragon and Massimo part of his culinary crusade.
The menu offers plenty of small bites such as tapas, with a range of wholesome sharing options depending on your mood and or company. My first dish is the ceviche – as light and fresh as the current Brisbane weather favours – it’s presented as a moreish medley of kingfish, tuna and ocean trout and dressed with lime, chilli and fresh herbs. As I’m digging in and sipping on a fresh Rico Maria tomato cocktail, I notice the live oyster and ceviche bar, showing that seafood is front and centre of this mouth-watering menu. After the signature vinaigrette dressed oysters and the Moreton Bay bug rolls on a crisp and fluffy brioche bun, the standout pair of plates were undoubtedly the Argentinian style 1kg lamb shoulder (best for sharing) and the seafood paella with calamari, prawns, mussels and braised capsicum.
With each bite it’s easy to feel as though I’ve been whisked away to an authentic spot on the other side of the world. But the food is just one part of the offerings. From the delicate touches of modern décor and tonal hues, to the natural light beaming through the exquisite high set windows, the casual Mediterranean feel of Rico gorgeously compliments each dish.
Whether it’s after work drinks (I recommend the passionfruit, lime and cava Barcelona beverage) underneath the green and white umbrellas alfresco, a date night dinner on looking the city lights or a long lunch shucking fresh oysters, this new addition to Eagle Street Pier is the place to unfold your next napkin.