Mietta's ReviewE'cco, under the direction of owner/chef Philip Johnson, has long been the Brisbane benchmark for restaurants. Still great, still incredibly popular and the good Italian influenced dishes still come out of the kitchen in a very business-like way - it's an object lesson in creating and maintaining standards. Brisbane at its best. In 06 mains averaged $32.50.
Other Published Opinions
Brisbane Times May 09, 2013 Score: 15.5/20 "Read full review ...
QLD Good Food Guide 2012 May 01, 2012 Score: 15/20 "Read full review ...
Gourmet Traveller 2013 Australian Restaurant Guide Score: 1 Star "Constancy is often underrated in the pursuit of innovation, but safe hands make happy diners. This former tea warehouse is as it ever was: crimson walls, unclothed tables, a mix of banquettes and low-key chairs - surroundings that suit the confident service and deceptively simple, seasonal fare"
Queensland Good Food Guide 2012 Score: 15/20
Gourmet Traveller 2012 Australian Restaurant Guide Score: One Star "Expect sure-footed bistro fare rather than surprises in E'cco's lively dining room. Duck and shiitake pie is a case in point: charitably proportioned, glazed and crammed full of flavour"
The Courier-Mail Margie Fraser, April 2011 Score: Food: 16/20, Staff: 8/10, Drink: 5/5, X-factor: 4/5, Value: 6/10, Total 39/50 "An icon that reinterprets European bistro fare for the relaxed subtropics."
Courier Mail Food and Wine Guide 2011 Score: 16/20, Two Stars "There was a time when e'cco was Brisbane dining to southerners. Nothing else existed and new talent coming on to the scene had a hard time being discovered nationally - perhaps because of chef/owner Philip Johnson's high profile and collection of cookbooks"
Age Good Food Guide 2011
Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2011
Gourmet Traveller 2011 Australian Restaurant Guide Score: * "Opening with a bang more than 15 years ago. E'cco shot to acclaim with a reputation for consistently well turned out, produce-driven food with an emphasis on flavour, rather than fashion"
Queensland Food and Wine Score: 17/20, Two Stars "Brisbane without ecco is as unthinkable as Paris without bistros or New York without delis. As our style forms and culinary Brisbane comes into its own. Philip Johnson's unmistakable, dressed-down bistro fare inevitably pops into your head"
Courier Mail Des Houghton, 23-06-2007 Score: 16 "the vigour and colour of the dishes we encountered confirm chef Philip Johnson as a brilliant technician and a genuine creative force. The New Zealander is one of a handful of talented chefs who have helped raise the bar in Queensland restaurants. His menu is a spreadsheet of endlessly surprising flavours, and I was soon drooling over his grilled quail with unctuous morsels of fried goat's cheese on a bed of radicchio and basil, and laced with a lively vincotto. The plate was scattered with a handful of hazelnuts which made a delightful change of pace. ... E'cco boasts a tidy wine list, with plenty of classy numbers available by the glass. With minor lapses the service was professional, the crowded room generating a rollicking, confident style. Had we had time for desserts, I would have ordered the hazelnut meringue with raspberry mousse, and herself the chocolate honeycomb tart."
The Australian "E'cco was conceived as an egalitarian home of straightforward, unchallenging cookery based on the simple pillars of good produce and sound technique. A bistro."
Courier Mail Food and Wine Guide 2009 Queensland Score: 17/20, Two Hats "Like owner, like bistro. ecco is an understated example of excellence and consistency that has served to bring Brisbane dining into a small but important spotlight over the past decade"
Age Good Food Guide 2009
Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2009
Gourmet Traveller 2009 Australian Restaurant Guide Score: ** "This is the restaurant that put Brisbane on the gastronomic map. Naturally, the food has become more assured since owner-chef Philip Johnson opened his doors in 1995. From the gleaming open kitchen a stream of dishes vindicates Johnson's credo that natural flavours and fresh produce should take precedence"
Brisbane Times Score: 16/20
Courier Mail food and wine guide Queensland 2008 Score: 17/20, Two Hats "New Zealand-born chef Philip Johnson opened his bistro, formerly an old tea warehouse, in 1996. It's small and stylish, with polished timber floors, timber tables and an open stainless steel window to the kitchen"
Gourmet Traveller 2008 Australian Restaurant Guide Score: ** "To try the sticky-on-the-outside, soy-braised wagyu beef cheek topped with a chirpy Asian salad is to be introduced into the confident, big-on-flavour, light-on-excessive-tinkering world of Philip Johnson's accomplished cooking"
Courier Mail Des Houghton, 23-6-2007 "IT never rains but it pours. Now there's a cliche you haven't heard for a while. As rain tumbled down outside, the culinary cognoscenti were sniffing approvingly at the storm of flavours set before them by the city's great chefs.At Michael's on the river, Gary Jones had prepared a seven-course Queensland Day feast to honour local food and wine"
Brisbane News Tony Harper, 11-7-2007 Score: Food 9, Wine 8.5, Service 9, Ambience 8.5 "I reckon that e'cco is twice the restaurant it was in 1997, when Rick Stein named it the best in the country. And I also believe it's the best it's ever been."
Brisbane News Dining Out Guide 2007 "Philip Johnson may be famous on a national scale for his entree of field mushrooms, olive toast, rocket, parmesan, truffle oil and lemon, but his repertoire is far wider, and takes in a range of styles"
Gourmet Traveller 2007 Australian Restaurant Guide Score: ** "Rare is the restaurant where each dish grabs the diner with equal conviction. Such is the food of Philip Johnson, who has forged a creative path through the classics and into modern and competitive times by remaining utterly consistent in all areas of his business."
Courier-Mail Goodlife Restaurant Guide 2006 "Brisbane without ecco is almost unthinkable. Known throughout Australia and internationally as a local icon, this unpretentious bistro has possibly done more to put Brisbane on the national culinary landscape than any other organisation or individual."
Gourmet Traveller 2006 Australian Restaurant Guide "Lauded chef and author Philip Johnson's interpretation of bistro food is ever-changing, and yet remains utterly consistent in terms offlavour and innovation. "
Brisbane News Eating Out Guide 2006 "A favourite with savvy diners, e'cco is the kind of place you instantly feel welcome, so professional is the staff and so consistent the food."
Brisbane News Natascha Mirosch 7/9/05 "It's hard to imagine Brisbane without e'cco bistro - it seems to have been part of that little corner of the cityscape forever, yet it's only recently celebrated its 10th birthday. E'cco is very much a city restaurant with its pared-back, vaguely New York-ish decor and glimpses of Story Bridge traffic. Its patrons, too, particularly on weekday lunchtimes, seem to be mainly city workers grateful for an excuse to escape the sandwich bar. ... food: 8 service: 8 wine: 8 atmosphere: 8
Courier-Mail Goodlife Restaurant Guide 05 "Philip Johnson and his skilled kitchen team continue serve the stylish, fresh and flavoursome fare that ecco oistro has been noted for since its success back in '997 as national restaurant of the year."
Gourmet Traveller Australian Restaurant Guide 2005 "leading Queensland chef Philip Johnson has perfected the art of less-is-more, bringing simplicity to the forefront in everything he prepares. The menu is uncomplicated and approachable"
Brisbane News Dining Out Guide 2004 "Philip Johnson's landmark bistro, which won the 1997 Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year, continues to deliver. Dine in a modern space with walls of aubergine and blood red as you sample beautifully executed, simple fare."
Goumet Traveller Restaurant Guide Australia 2004, 3 Black Stars,'This much loved and celebrated bistro is infused with a genoristy of spirit just as appealing as its bold, beautiful food...fresh, simply prepared dishes...The wine list is concise and ever-changing and service is always knowledgeable and friendly.'
Brisbane times, Restaurants, Alison Walsh, 31/7/02
Courier-Mail, good life, dining out, Lizzie Loel, 15/5/02, Score- Food 18/20, Ambience 17/20. "Great food - here it is!"
2002 Eating Out Guide, Brisbane News
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