Located on the ground floor of East Hotel in Kingston, Canberra, Joe’s Bar has earned itself the reputation of being one of the city’s coolest meeting places where well-heeled locals and out-of-town travellers meet over curated wine and cocktail lists and exceptional ‘stuzzichini’ or tapas-style food.
Taking the presentation of it’s sharing plates and drinks to a new level with Art of Aperitivo, Joe’s transforms its antipasto and libations to an art form on visual par with Kelly Ross’ stunning interior design.
At the helm is executive chef Francesco Balestrieri, also in charge of Joe’s sister restaurant Agostinis, who has created a food menu of beautifully presented dishes, inspired by his Roman heritage and designed for sharing over drinks and conversation.
Upon arrival, guests are offered a bowl of spiced popcorn whilst they peruse the menu and select a drink from the diverse imported and local wine list or inviting range of bespoke and traditional cocktails.
The house antipasto plate, Piatti di Joe, is a celebration of chef Francesco’s favourite meats, cheese and accompaniments, with award-winning San Daniele Italian prosciutto imported from Friuli, Salame Cacciatore, Black Pepper Mortadella, Taleggio Lombardo, grape infused Pecorino, eggplant, tomato and capsicum caponata and marinated Mount Zero Olives.
The selection of pizzas offer a choice of Margherita Bufala, the spicy Diavola, and the Salsiccia with its Italian sausage, ‘nduja (spicy, spreadable salami) and Fior di Latte mozzarella.
Celebrating Canberra’s truffle season is Reggiano col Miele – a wedge of Parmesan Reggiano cheese served with truffle honey and baby figs as well as the Formaggio col Tartufo, lightly whipped goats cheese with fresh truffle, served with baked focaccia from the pizza oven.
For dessert, sweet tooths will not be able to go past Rita’s Cantucci con Passito – chef Francesco’s mother’s own recipe for Italian biscotti served with chilled Passito, a sweet dessert wine or Joe’s Affogato, house-made vanilla gelato served with an espresso and a choice of digestive: Café Patron XO Tequila, Frangelico or Grappa.
To complete the experience, Art of Aperitivo features a colourful selection of original cocktails that are as beautiful as they taste.