Italian and Sons, Braddon

12 May

I don’t expect to like Italian and Sons. I don’t really feel like Italian and just how many tables are crammed into the small space on Lonsdale Street raises my eyebrows – but I’m surprised with how much I like the food and experience.

We arrive at 6.30pm and the restaurant is absolutely packed. The tables are so close together that we have to walk a rather odd way to our table on the side of the restaurant.

Once we’re seated, it’s fine – it’s a good location, and there’s no jostling or bumping of the seats as people walk past, despite how crowded it is.

Menu at Italian and Sons

Menu at Italian and Sons

The service is friendly and attentive, with the right balance between a few questions without being annoying. But, throughout the night, four or five waiters serve our table. There’s a waiter for the water, then the wine, then a waiter who tells us the specials and takes our orders, then one of them comes back with some dishes, and another with some other dishes – you get the picture. Given the amount of staff, it’s a credit to them that it’s just a few occasions when we’re asked the same question one of their colleagues has asked moments before.

Like I said in this post, there’s something a bit more intimate and personal when you have the one waiter. Maybe it’s not possible in a really busy restaurant like Italian and Sons, but I think it would add a lot to counter the otherwise slightly frenetic feel.

And, there are a lot of specials. A lot of specials. We’re taken through the five antipasti specials (I only remember the last one) before we even start on the main specials. Phew! No prices are given, but we don’t ask, either. The thing is: from what we’re able to hear (and remember!) the specials sound really good, and we order two.

Calamari

Calamari

The calamari (this is a special, so I don’t have the details on the price or ingredients!) is tasty, if not a touch chewy, but presented beautifully. The batter could probably have done with a few seconds more cooking, but that’s hardly a criticism.

Pumpkin pasta

Pumpkin pasta

The pumpkin pasta is another specials dish, but this is really, really good. The pumpkin is savoury, but offset by what I think are roast currants and pepitas. This is a tasty dish with a good match of flavours. Would definitely order it again if I heard it (managed to hear it?) on the specials!

Eggplant parmigiana ($16)

Eggplant parmigiana ($16)

The eggplant parmigiana has a lovely rich tomato base and a strong hint of basil throughout. The cast iron post is hot (but we’re warned!) it’s a filling dish. Yum!

We could eat antipasti all night, but we opt for a potato and gorgonzola pizza to fill us up. It’s okay, but we have to search for those gorgonzola flavour hits. While authentic, for the price I think it could learn a little from Bridge Road Brewers!

Gorgonzola and potato pizza

Gorgonzola, rosemary and potato pizza

We’re not quite full, so we opt to see the dessert and wine menus again. There’s a lovely moscatel which, chilled, makes for good drinking (though is almost three times the price at Dan Murphy’s).

 

Two cheeses for $20

Two cheeses for $20

Given some of the sweetness in our mains, we’re more keen on the cheese platter, offered for $12 (one), $20 (two) or $27 (three cheeses), as well as nuts, thin bread, apple and grapes. We choose a hard cow/sheep mix from Italy which is excellent, and reminds us of one of our favourites, and a hard blue goat’s cheese (verde capra). It’s a bigger platter than I expect, and a lovely finish.

040

Date:  Saturday, 10 May 2014

Where: 7 Lonsdale Street, Braddon

Cost: $188, including three antipasti, one pizza, two cheeses, one bottle of dessert wine and one bottle of (lovely) prosecco)

Value for money: Medium

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile
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4 Responses to “Italian and Sons, Braddon”

  1. Gary Lum May 12, 2014 at 4:33 am #

    Glad you liked it Tara. I like Tuesday night suckling pig :-)

  2. Kel May 19, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    That doesn’t sound appealing to me actually. Way too much noise and no space. I would definitely be upset to pay $188 of my hard-earned cash to go home with a headache regardless of how good the food was.
    Canberra astounds me a little like that, and maybe I’m just ageing but there seems to be a lot of noisy cafe style places charging fine dining prices.
    Do you use the Canberra Entertainment book Tara? I’m a huge fan of it (with my huge mortgage). I love ‘specials’ and going in to a restaurant with my Entertainment card is an automatic plus :-)
    Would love to see some reviews from you for some of the quieter places out of that book. Intimate, soft, piano in the background, starry gleaming romantic eyes over the wine glasses…….(Sighs). Since we rarely (fine) dine out, I don’t even know if there are any.

    • inthetaratory May 19, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

      We do use the Entertainment Book, Kel! It’s a good source of inspiration, especially for more of the suburban places. You’ve given me a good reminder to buy this year’s book! Some of the reviews on here should mention whether we got a discount with the Entertainment card/vouchers. We did bring the gold card to The Boathouse by the Lake for the 25% discount but felt using it wouldn’t quite do justice to the out of this world experience (and it’s quiet, intimate and got a crackling fire over winter)!
      In terms of piano, the Rum Bar in Kingston sounds a little like what you’re talking about… but not quite as quiet!

  3. Kel May 25, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    Thanks Tara, I knew you could point me in the right direction :-)
    The Boathouse was THAT good huh? I will go then…..

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