Italian and Sons waiter Tony Lo Terzo. Photo: Melissa Adams
Canberra Times Top 20 for 2012
The Trimboli family’s coolest restaurant has that magic and all too rare combination: it is hyper hip but also really, really good. And a few years into its new life, the excitement hasn’t waned, because the service and food continue to be vibrant and excellent.
Based loosely on a bustling Roman trattoria, Italian and Sons is a busy, exciting place to eat with clean flavours and a firm commitment to good seasonal produce.
Italian and Sons, Braddon. Photo: Supplied
You might start with a white-peach Bellini and a plate of freshly sliced cured meats – prosciutto or bresaola (made from wagyu loin) – while you are thinking. A dozen or so excellent antipasti can make a meal if you’re not careful. There’s almost always a great salt cod (baccala) dish on the menu, and sometimes tiny school prawns, flash fried in their shells, making the most delicious finger food.
Be warned, the carefully arranged, smallish space is not quiet nor calm, but you can hear yourself talk, and getting a table is competitive for good reason.
Advice is readily offered if choices are beyond you, or simply take a look at what’s coming out of the heart of the operation, the woodfired oven. The pizza is a thing of beauty, blistered and bubbling, with a just a few beautiful toppings – white pizza, with potato, gorgonzola, radicchio and prosciutto is a special treat. A different meat/fish main course is on each day, with wood-roast sucking pig spiked with garlic and baby fennel brightening up Tuesdays, Northern River veal shin with asparagus on Thursday.
Cured ocean trout crudo at Italian and Sons, Braddon. Photo: Graham Tidy
The classic caprese salad is done properly – a simple and great dish, combining slices of their own tomato with tender buffalo mozzarella, all aromatic with basil. A serious tiramisu delivers a jolt of coffee and with the richness of sweet liquor and mascarpone, or a trio of quality gelati leaves the palate fresh for the next visit. Italian and Sons brings the Canberra dining scene up a notch or two, delivering not just a great meal, but a great night out.
How we score: Food and Wine Annual Top 20
- (02) 6162 4888
- Cuisine - Italian
- Features - Licensed, Wheelchair access
- Chef(s) - Pasquale Trimboli and Carolyn Miller
- Owners - Trimboli family
- Opening Hours - Lunch Tues to Fri, dinner Mon to Sat
- Author - Catriona Jackson