Giardinetto (Fortitude Valley, QLD)

Located right in the heart of the city, this Italian restaurant has been around Brisbane for ages - or so I've been told.  The entrance of the restaurant looks cozy and Italian, but since we had a large group that night, we were in the back room, which wasn't quite as warm.  The ambience was a bit confusing, with patterned walls and cold furnishings, but warm lighting.  I'm glad they could accomodate such a large group, but because a lot of us were late, they kept threatening to remove one of the tables after a few of us hadn't showed up for half an hour.  The servers seemed all "excited" by dealing with such a group of us, and I was honestly taken aback by how rude they were about wanting a to take a table away, after I had gone through the trouble to make a reservation and confirmed the numbers a second time.  If this place is family run, I can fathom the terrible service a bit - as family run restaurants often have really terrible service.  Even so, it is no excuse.

Generally, as a rule, if I am severely disappointed in a restaurant, whether it be the service or the food, I will let it sit for a day or two.  Now that I have, it still hasn't changed my opinion of this place.  The location is pretty prime, next to all the bars and nightlife that the Valley has to offer, but other than that, this restaurant is underwhelming.  The food is unremarkable, as all the dishes were overly heavy on the cream (I tried three).  I had the mushroom risotto (21.5), which is a usual favorite of mine, but the complexity of the flavor was simple, and overly creamy, as were all the sauces of the other dishes I tried.  What was good about it was the texture of the risotto, as well as the fact that the sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms tasted fresh.  The salmon fettucini was a little better, as the flavoring of the salmon was decent.  The other dish that we ordered was the pumpkin tortellini (21.5), which was a huge mistake!  The flavor of the pumpkin did not go well at all with the tortellini!  I don't know why, but they tasted like they belonged in two completely different dishes, and on top of that, my friend said she got a couple of tortellinis that tasted frozen.

After viewing the Yelp and Urbanspoon reviews, I had my hopes up for a decent Italian place.  Alas, my expectations were crushed once more.  How do places get away with a combo of mediocre food and bad service on the side?  If the food was at least decent, the service would be forgivable, but this place is just one hot mess.
Risotto con Funghi (Mushroom Risotto)
Tortelloni di Zucca (Pumpkin Tortellini) 
Price: 22AUD/person drinks not included | $$
Rating: 2.5/5
Tip: Corkage fee $3

Giardinetto (Website)
366 Brunswick St.
Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006
#: (07) 3252-4750
Giardinetto on Urbanspoon


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