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When night falls each Thursday, Friday and Saturday, this Bulimba restaurant takes over Bellissimo's Oxford Street digs.
By Sarah Ward
August 23, 2022
By Sarah Ward
August 23, 2022

Caffeine fiends of Brisbane's east are already fond of Bellissimo Coffee's Oxford Street outpost, which serves up caffeinated beverages, plus brunch, lunch and bakery bites seven days a week. Fans of Mediterranean-infused will now want to stop by the same venue after dark from Thursday–Saturday, with the old warehouse-turned-eatery transforming into Besitos three nights a week.

A 80–90-seater restaurant, Besitos is a product of the location's 2021 revamp, which saw the venue nab a a sleek and rustic new look courtesy of interior designers Alkot Studio — and takes over the area that Bellissimo previously used to roast its coffee beans.

On the menu: candle-lit dinners in an industrial-but-cosy space, plus a food lineup from Executive Chef Marco Torrisi (ex-Joey's) that heroes dishes prepared on the open kitchen's flaming charcoal grill. Yes, you'll get a prime view of your meal being cooked while you wait, with the culinary range changing seasonally.

On Besito's launch menu: emu tartare, charred octopus, and bone marrow with salsa verde on toasted brioche, as well as baguettes paired with Spanish anchovies, burnt miso toothfish tacos, Mooloolaba king prawns and hot pot mussels. Most dishes are small, with patrons encouraged to order a heap — aka sample their way through, rather than agonise over picking just one thing.

There are four large plate options, though: squid ink linguine, lamb ribs, chargrilled market fish and wagyu sirloins. For dessert, a trio of choices awaits, spanning a modern take on tiramisu with housemade espresso ice cream and coffee syrup, chargrilled pineapple given a chocolate crumb and paired with basil-infused ice cream, and a range of housemade gelato.

Drinks-wise, 12 wines are available by the glass and plenty more by the bottle, while cocktails, beers and spirits also feature. Naturally, the Besitos martini features Bellissimo cold-press coffee, as well as vodka and coffee liqueur.

When the restaurant kicks into gear at 5pm from Thursday–Saturday, don't go expecting the usual Bellissimo setup, but at night, however. The kitchen setup changes with the switchover to Besito's every evening, including the full roster of staff.

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