Joe’s Bar in the East Hotel at Kingston is a serving up Italian-inspired dishes and cocktails.
Apple Ginger Martini
This little piece of Italy to the south of the city near Parliament House is well worth the visit to be spoilt be generous Italian hospitality. It might be for a meal or possibly a cocktail like the Apple Ginger Martini, a summery martini with the vodka taking on the freshness of the apple and a little bite from the ginger.
Entering from the street or through the East Hotel lobby, the eye is drawn to the sleek bar before taking in the eclectic surrounds. In addition to the usual tables there are lounges, soft chairs with low tables for enjoying that drink and some bites. The textured wall makes gives a warm balance to the metallic hanging lights.
A complementary bowl of spicy popcorn arrives while deciding which dishes tempt.
As both Chef and Bar Manager hail from Rome or its surrounds, there is that welcoming feel that one always gets when dining Italian. The food is made to be shared so that a variety of dishes using the best of seasonal produce may be enjoyed. The cocktails have an Italian feel, either by the ingredients or their flavour that can also pair to the food.
Spicy Joe is a take on the Margarita. Made with tequila, mango and chilli and the glass rimmed with black Malaysian salt. This cocktail delivers with the tequila on show and the chilli shining while the mango gives a cooling balance.
Orangetini is a great summer drink. Bringing together lemon vodka, Lillet Blanc and lemon juice, it’s a light and refreshing drink rimmed with orange dust and sugar which balances the sweetness and bitterness well.
Mozzarella in Carrozza
Mozzarella in Carrozza ($15) are wonderful light and crisp pockets of melted mozzarella that has been breaded and served with slow roasted cherry tomatoes.
Carpaccio di Manzo
The Carpaccio di Manzo ($22) of raw Grain-fed beef fillet, sliced finely, rolled in pink pepper and herbs, spring roots, jalapeños and drizzled with guava vinaigrette is as tasty as it looks. The carpaccio is fresh and full of flavour, the jalapeños delivering spicy heat and a textual crunch from the mandolined radishes.
Polenta Chips al Gorgonzola
Polenta Chips al Gorgonzola ($10) come presented exactly like chips. The crispy, thick cut polenta has a light sprinkling of sea salt and rosemary and with a tasty, creamy textured, Gorgonzola sauce for dipping.
Orecchiette con Asparagi
The Orecchiette con Asparagi ($24) are cooked al dente with asparagus, pancetta and smokey scamorza cheese. The pasta is light making for a great summer dish with the hint of smoke accentuating the pancetta.
Tagliata di Manzo
Tagliata di Manzo ($30) is 300g of grain-fed scotch fillet with a great combination of both char and smokey flavours. The meat is beautifully pink and just melts in the mouth and sits beneath crispy rocket, shaved Parmesan and a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar.
Tramezzino al Gelato
Tramezzino al Gelato ($12) is a treat that comes served in a brown paper sandwich bag that increases the anticipation of what is to come. The gelato is made in house with Nutella which is sandwiched between cookies baked in the kitchen.
Rita’s Cantucci con Passito
Rita’s Cantucci con Passito ($13) are Italian biscotti made using the Chef’s family recipe served with a lightly chilled Martinez Passito di Pantelleria to dip the biscotti in. The Passito is a sweet dessert wine from Sicily, with notes of candied orange and almond and is a perfect way to finish this Italian feast.
When Italians come together, there is, more often than not good food and good drinks, to be enjoyed with friends and family. Joe’s Bar upholds this tradition. Whether it be for a light snack or a meal, an aperitivo or a cocktail, Joe’s Bar will make you welcome.
At East Hotel
69 Canberra Avenue,
Kingston ACT 2604
Gourmantic travelled to Canberra as guests of VisitCanberra.
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