Italian and Sons: Best Canberra restaurants 2015

Natasha Rudra
Chianti braised beef cheeks at Italian and Sons.
Chianti braised beef cheeks at Italian and Sons. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

Italian and Sons was among the first restaurants to open in what is now a packed Braddon retail and dining strip, back when anyone could find a parking spot on Lonsdale Street. Since then it's not just survived but has retained plenty of cachet and a sense of cool that many other Braddon eateries would kill for.

It's pumping all through the week with diners who come for Italian dishes that are beautifully put together with a combination of strong flavours and an unadorned sense of self. Start with sardine fillets that are rich and salty in the best possible way, move onto maccheroni in a lamb and wine sauce, or the dish of the day - roast pork with green apples and mustard fruits (Tuesdays only).

Desserts are a classic tiramisu, light, creamy and beauteous, a panna cotta scented with grappa, or a very decadent Valrhona chocolate tart. The wines are a heady trip to Italy with plenty of big Australian names too. 

Out the back, Pasquale Trimboli and his family have opened a cool new little bar, Bacaro. This is accessible down a laneway and through a private car park, and is one of Braddon's best kept secrets. Perfect for aperitivo hour.

7 Lonsdale Street, Braddon, 6162 4888,