Italian and Sons has been on my food bucket list for about three years now. I’ve been meaning to go but never got around to organising it. So my partner and I made a dinner reservation for Valentine’s Day. There are two sittings – 6.30pm and 8.30pm. We chose the 6.30pm slot as I’m usually starving by this time. The lovely lady on the phone told us we needed to be out at 8pm so they could clean up for the next sitting. That wasn’t a problem.
It’s cosy inside with small tables, a bar at the front and lots of kitchen staff peeping out from the kitchen in the back. I could see the wood fired oven from where I sat too.
I felt like trying something from the Affettati menu which offers 7 types of cured and other sliced meats to choose from.
I selected the two meat option ($18) – the prosciutto san daniele and the wagyu bresaola. The charcuterie board also came with flat crackers which were pretty bland but crunchy. The prosciutto (right) was delicate and so light. I was expecting very salty prosciutto but this was the complete opposite. I really enjoyed this lovely light meat and could’ve had more. The bresaola (left) was only a tad heavier, but again, not very salty. A good start to the night.
The wood baked garlic focaccia ($8) came out at the same time as the charcuterie board. This is actually a side dish but our waiter kindly mentioned he would bring this out as an entree (perhaps after seeing the look of starvation on my face?) My partner and I both agreed it was fantastic garlic bread! Seems like the entire focaccia had been infused in garlic. The little bit of olive oil on the side didn’t add much value as the garlic focaccia on its own was perfect and overpowered the oil. The bread itself was fantastic too! I’d definitely order this again.
For my main, I ordered the spaghettini alla veneziana ($29) consisting of spanner crab, zucchini flower, lemon, chilli and pangrattato (bread crumbs) made from white sourdough crumbs which also accompanied the dish in a small side bowl. I admit I have never had a pasta dish with bread crumbs on it so this was a nice surprise. I loved the first bite – great flavours and crunch. There was only a small portion of crab mixed throughout and I couldn’t really taste it. Unfortunately, the pasta got saltier with every bite. I drank so much water at dinner and more when I returned home.
My partner ordered the 6hr braised wagyu beef cheek which was one of the specials of the night. A knife was not required as the beef just fell apart when touched with a fork. Still pink in the middle, it was cooked perfectly. In the end, my partner did not like this dish as it was too heavy, especially on a warm-ish night, and there wasn’t much else to balance out all the meat. I had a little taste and there was a bold taste of pure meaty beef so I can understand where he’s coming from.
We ordered a side of braised green beans in garlic and olive oil ($9). Apologies for the dark photo! Disappointed with the green beans – they were soggy and overcooked.
For dessert, I really wanted the tiramisu but thought I’d get out of my comfort zone and try something different. This resulted in me picking the ricotta cannoli with moscato poached peach and berries ($13). I wasn’t sure about the moscato poached peach as I don’t like alcohol but figured it wouldn’t be too bad. I was right – this was a lovely dessert. The ricotta was thick, light and creamy but not too cheesy. Beautiful! I’d buy a tub of it and eat it by the spoonful if I could. The cannoli pastry was crunchy and I would’ve liked another one. I could hardly taste any of the moscato on the poached peach – win! A really refreshing, light and delicate dessert that I enjoyed and would order again.
My partner ordered the trio of house made gelati ($12) which included watermelon sorbet, passionfruit sorbet and vanilla bean gelato. It was obvious that the fruit sorbets had the real thing mixed into it. The vanilla gelato was my partner’s favourite – creamy, thick and full of wholesome vanilla bean.
Service here is professional and pleasant. Linen napkins are placed on our laps and our drinks order taken. Water is regularly topped up by different wait staff which is great. There wasn’t a huge wait time for our food either (an advantage of being a small restaurant?) The atmosphere – well it was full of couples on Valentine’s Day. Nuff said. Overall, I was happy with the food and service here and will be returning to try out other dishes.