It was my sister’s birthday during her visit to Canberra. Seeing as we both love Italian food, it only seemed fitting to take her to one of the best Italian restaurants in town – Italian and Sons. The last time I was there was early last year and I was eager to revisit the restaurant. I made a lunch time booking during the weekday so it was very quiet in the restaurant that day.
I ordered a side dish of wood-baked garlic focaccia ($8) which was brought out first. Very garlicky and salty but not as great as I remembered it to be. It used to have some rosemary baked into it and was served with rosemary olive oil but that is no longer the case. I did notice that there are now two wood-baked focaccias – one regular and one with garlic, so perhaps the regular wood-baked focaccia has the rosemary in it. The focaccia itself was still warm from the oven and soft, but I missed the flavour of rosemary.
Although a very basic Italian dish, I felt like ordering the maccheroncini al ragu with suckling lamb, tomato and red wine ragu ($29). This was the best dish of the day. Slow cooked lamb that had been long stewed in a delicious tomato sauce so that it was completely tender when pulling apart. There was so much flavour and I was glad it wasn’t too salty. A hearty traditional Italian dish – highly recommended.
My sister ordered the tagliatelle con carciofi e prosciutto crudo ($30) of hand cut tagliatelle, globe artichoke, and prosciutto san daniele. She found it got saltier the more she ate it due to the pickled artichokes and the saltiness of the prosciutto. She did, however, appreciate the freshly made tagliatelle.
My mum ordered the Tuesday special of maiaolino ($37) which was a wood roast pillar rock suckling pig, shaved radish, celery, green apple salad and mostarda. She found the pig very tender and well cooked but it was too meaty for her and she would have liked more vegetables to go with all that meat.
Service was attentive (though there weren’t many diners during the lunch time service) with a friendly Italian speaking waiter. We found the atmosphere was private, quiet and welcoming. There was a range of vino to choose from but no one at the table drinks alcohol. We would’ve ordered dessert but had birthday cake to go home to.
Value for money 8/10
FPJ score 25/30
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