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Briscola Italian Restaurant

Home > Canberra > Romantic | Restaurants | Dinner
by Heidi Cee (subscribe)
Explore the food, sights and events of Canberra and the surrounding regions with me. To see what I've been up to, I'm on Instagram @heids_c
Published December 28th 2021
Italian food and a romantic mood are on the menu at Briscola
Briscola Italian Restaurant, Italian Restaurant Canberra, Canberra Restaurants, places to eat in Civic
Briscola Italian Restaurant in Civic


It's a balmy summer evening when we visit Briscola Italian Restaurant in Civic and the place is humming even though it's still early. The restaurant is in the historic Melbourne Building and it makes for a setting reminiscent of the edge of an Italian piazza. The arched colonnades frame the restaurant and add some history, a rare thing in a city as young as Canberra, and the red linen on the outdoor tables waves cheerfully at the end of work-week passers by taking their evening passegiatta.

The service is friendly without being over the top and our drinks are out quickly with the waitress offering to bring our daughter's meal as soon as it's ready. If you've ever eaten out with kids, you'll understand that small courtesies like this are the difference between a peaceful meal and things ending in hangry tears. So our daughter happily tucks into her butter and cheese pasta while we sip drinks. My Aperol spritz is generous and ice cold and the beer and wine lists offer a good variety of choices for any taste or budget.

Briscola Italian Restaurant, Italian Restaurant Canberra, Canberra Restaurants, places to eat in Civic
Briscola Italian Restaurant in Civic


Briscola Italian Restaurant, Italian Restaurant Canberra, Canberra Restaurants, places to eat in Civic
Linguine Ricotta at Briscola Italian Resturant


Briscola's menu is full of unpretentious classics with a focus on pizza and pasta. The entrees arrive and I'm a little surprised to find the bruschetta includes a lot of ricotta in amongst the tomato and basil and the bread isn't toasted but while it's different, it's delicious with the bread acting like a sponge and soaking up the delicious juices of tomato, oil and balsamic vinegar. The calamari is light, crisp and delicious, especially when it's covered with the garlicky aioli.

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Pizza at Briscola restaurant in Canberra


Briscola Italian restaurant canberra, Italian food canberra, where to eat in Civic, where to eat in canberra, good Italian restaurants canberra, kid friendly restaurants Canberra,
Bruschetta at Briscola Restaurant in Canberra


Mains are a little slow to come out but the people watching passes the time and when they do arrive, they are delicious. The pizza is topped generously enough to pack a flavour punch but not so much that it becomes overwhelming. The base manages to find the balance between thin and thick, a crisp outer edge with just a little give as you chew. And the linguine ricotta is topped with a flavour bomb of sauce - an arrabiatta sugo wraps itself around the linguine and the roasted capsicum, olives, chilli and basil dance together with the ricotta to create a little taste of the meditteranean.

Our daughter ends her meal with a scoop of ice cream but this time we skip dessert because the mains were huge. The sun is just setting as we finish up and the restaurant is at capacity, the warm air filled with chatter and the clink of ice on glasses. Briscola has managed to do that elusive thing, to turn a meal into an experience, one we are already planning to repeat.
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Why? For a classic Italian meal
When: Monday to Sunday from 5:30pm. Tuesday to Sunday from 12:00pm.
Phone: (02) 6248 5444
Where: 60 Alinga Street, Civic (Melbourne Building)
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