After months of thinking about it I finally managed to get myself down to local Italian restaurant Bel Paese last night after some encouragement from a friend of mine who dined there last week and loved it. I have heard quite a bit about this little restaurant from a few people and from some reviews online so I decided I should ignore the carb content and go check it out. I was accompanied by my good friend LL who recommended the Puttanesca. I do know that Bel Paese has won awards for it’s Four Cheese Pizza but tonight I was looking for a pasta hit and since the Puttanesca came highly recommended that is exactly what I chose. The Puttanesca is Pasta with Anchovies, Olives, Capers, Chilli, Garlic and Tomato (AU$18.90). Some of you probably say “yuck” to the anchovies but I say “give me extra”! I eat those things out of the jar! While we waited for our mains to arrive LL and I argued about how long Bel Paese had been open in Cairns for. He claimed that it had opened just after the Bavarian Beerhouse nextdoor (mid last year-ish) while I argued that it had been open for a few years. The friendly waitress halted our bickering when she told us that it had indeed been open for a few years. I won.
We waited about 15 minutes for our Puttanesca’s to arrive and they came chockers with olives, capers and little slivers of anchovies. The chilli gave it that little bit of spice that I think every pasta needs. I will have to be honest, I haven’t had too many Puttanesca’s in my time but this one was the best and I would have to say the best Italian meal that I have had in a while. It was simply delicious and just the right serving size… Not too little, not too much. We both really enjoyed our Puttanesca’s and after I finished my meal I had to thank LL for the pasta recommendation. YUM!
Now I am asking myself if this little gem of an Italian restaurant has been open in Cairns for “a few years” then why oh why haven’t I been there earlier? The decor at Bel Paese is nothing flash. Well… the office chairs that you sit on certainly give it a bit of character but they are cushy to say the least. We received great service and the food (well my Puttanesca) was fantastic and at AU$18.90 it was pretty cheap really. There is none of this bullsh*t entree/main sized pasta dishes on the menu. One size fits all at Bel Paese.
45 Spence St, Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: (07) 4051 6165
Opening Hours: 5pm till late Mon-Sat