Il Centro Restaurant, situated in the heart of the Brisbane CBD at Eagle Street Pier, has been delighting locals and visitors alike with its modern interpretations of classic Italian dishes for over 20 years.
Il Centro Restaurant, situated in the heart of the Brisbane at Eagle Street Pier, enjoys sweeping views along the Brisbane River and boardwalk towards the landmark Story Bridge.
Husband and wife team, Andy and Marcia Georges, have operated the business since it opened its doors in 1992. Marcia was born into the restaurant business; her father, the late Michael Karlos, is considered one of Brisbane’s early restaurant pioneers. Michael opened one of Brisbane’s first licensed restaurants, The Camelia, in the late 1950s. He certainly passed his passion for the hospitality industry down to his daughter.
Co-owner, Andy Georges, still plays a hands-on role in running the restaurant and he has surrounded himself with a well-respected team of seasoned professionals. Restaurant Manager, Zahir Meyer-Homji and Assistant Manager/Sommelier, Shawn Gomes join Executive Chef, Catherine Anders, to provide Brisbane diners with a high level of personal service and good old-fashioned hospitality.
Shawn has curated an impressive list of local and international wines that complement the menu. Catherine prepares Il Centro’s innovative menu of classic Italian dishes with a distinctive Queensland twist, such as the signature dish, Sand Crab Lasagne. Changing seasonally, the menu showcases Queensland’s best fresh seafood, Australian beef, lamb and pork, and locally grown fruit and vegetables. Meals begin with smaller dishes such as the Truffle Arancini with pea, pancetta and goat’s curd and the Mooloolaba King Prawns with ricotta-stuffed zucchini flowers. Followed by larger, well-balanced dishes like the Green Pea Risotto with lemon crumbed lamb cutlets, baked ricotta and broad bean salad.
But back to the signature dish, the Sand Crab Lasagne. Diners from interstate and overseas have been known to make a special trip to the restaurant, just to taste the renowned dish. The creamy crustacean creation was first introduced to the menu by the restaurant’s first executive chef and is as popular today as it has ever been. In fact, well over 400,000 plates of Sand Crab Lasagne have been served since 1992.
Since its opening, Il Centro has been recognised at countless industry award shows, winning, among others, Chef Hat awards and Hall of Fame honours as Brisbane’s Best Restaurant. Andy has received many personal accolades for his service to the industry too, recognised by the Brisbane City Council as a Legend of Queensland.
Reminiscing about the city he calls home, Andy reflects “Brisbane is an exciting world city. It has truly come of age over the past 20 years, and this maturity has drawn so much new business to the city. Brisbane’s people have grown too – particularly in their appreciation of quality dining and their openness to explore new and exciting dishes”.