CQ's second best restaurant is Rocky's favourite
THERE'S something about a family fun business that CQ diners seem to love.
After talking to the top three place getters in the The Morning Bulletin's CQ's Best Restaurant competition, first place Ferns Hideaway, third place finisher Whisk and now, second place finisher Pacino's, the constant theme of being a family run business seems to be the key to success.
Pacino's Restaurant has the illustrious honor of being Rockhampton's number one voted favourite restaurant.
The restaurant, which is staffed by three generations of the same family, is one of the longest running Rockhampton (non-pub) restaurant - having remained open for over 40 years now.
Pacino's Guy Pilcher runs the restaurant with his wife Elizabeth, his mother and father Jalma and Ian, his brother Heath, with some help from his children Isabella, Hugo and Lucia.
Up until three years ago, their humble 80 seat restaurant on the corner of George and Fitzroy was filled with patrons with hungry guests constantly being turned away.
They decided to take the plunge and relocate as part of the Empire building by the riverbank and haven't looked back with their 200 person capacity restaurant often fully booked out by hungry foodies.
Pacino's is an Italian food restaurant who take immense pride in supporting their local wholesale food suppliers.
They aren't afraid to pay a little bit more to secure fresh local meat, seafood and produce from throughout the CQ region as well as sourcing more exotic ingredients such as buffalo milk cheese and hermon prosciutto from further afield.
Mr Pilcher said the secret to their success was the close connection the three generations of his family had forged with the local community.
"Everyone knows Mum and Dad, they all come up to the kitchen and say hello to Heath and I, they love that familiarity with our faces and the banter that we have with our customers,” Mr Pilcher said.
"The consistency is number one thing with food, it's very, very important the ingredients.”
He said they had their finger on the pulse of food trends often had international and interstate clients who were blown away thinking they could be eating this food in Melbourne, Sydney or Rome.
Talked about their most popular dishes, Mr Pilcher said it was tightly contested race with people gravitating towards their pasta dishes, fennel and lemon risotto topped with scallops, their beautiful lobster ravioli and their massive baked tiger prawns (sourced from Mackay).
"That's the big thing in this business, if your food's rubbish and your service is rubbish and you're not nice to your customers, you don't stay around long.
"We're obviously doing things correctly.”
"We're very honoured that we came second, thank you for the 40 years of support and I hope there's many more to come.”