Buvette Masthead

Five Winter Dinners Out

Astrid O'Neill

Where can you stay warm and well-fed this winter?

We hear you. You’re feeling bold enough to brave the cold from car to restaurant door (in your perfect winter coat) but only for a season-appropriate dinner in a toasty space.

Here are five local establishments that have got it right.



Tucked away in Barton, Vincent is described by its founders as ‘dark and moody, yet warm an ambient’. This new concept restaurant specialises in pairing delicious food with unconventional and specifically sourced wines from around the world. There is a long communal bar to accommodate groups or couples looking to relax over a glass.

Feature dish: Lamb rump with aubergine puree, date chutney and feta

Read our review here.

Where: Corner of Macquarie Street and Broughton Street, Barton ACT 2600
When: Open Tuesday-Thursday 4pm-10pm; Friday 12pm-10pm; Saturday 4pm-10pm
Contact: Phone 02 6273 7773 or email [email protected]



Grazing is an award-winning restaurant at the 1830s stone-built Royal Hotel in Gundaroo that focuses on the best of the Canberra region’s food and wine. Their relaxed atmosphere – complete with a fireplace – is complemented by their refreshingly simple philosophy: “We aim to serve good size portions of great food, made with the freshest possible ingredients. We don’t serve anything too fussy – just combinations of flavours and textures that appeal to the senses.”

Feature dish: Glenlea farm, Crockwell rump of lamb with sticky glazed rib, pickled eggplant, cauliflower and kohlrabi remoulade

Read our review here.

Where: Royal Hotel, Cork Street, Gundaroo, NSW 2620
When: Open for lunch Friday-Sunday and most public holidays; for dinner, Thursday-Saturday
Contact: Phone 02 6236 8777 or email [email protected]



Cinnabar‘ makes us think of the bright scarlet to brick-red colour used in China as early as the Song dynasty for lacquerware. This restaurant www.thecinnabar.com.au/ blends the modern with ancient while remaining original: Asian fusion dishes are served in a space that features terracotta warriors alongside comfortable booths with suspended fringing.

Feature dish: A feast of dumplings, Wagyu beef, steamed vegetables, Chinese BBQ pork hamburger and slow-cooked duck paired with red wine.

Where: 156/45 Eastlake Parade, Kingston Foreshore, ACT 2604
When: Open every day, 11.30am-3pm and 5.30pm-10.30pm
Contact: Phone 02 6140 7038 or email [email protected]

Black Fire


Black Fire in Braddon focuses on imaginative but authentic Mediterranean cuisine. The flavours of their meats, seafood and vegetables are enhanced using an open fire roast, wood-fired oven and the charcoal grill.

Award-winning chef Paolo Milanesi, born into a Sicilian family of restaurateurs, makes an effort to save the traditions of cheese, vegetables, fruits, grains and animal breeds that are disappearing since the rise of convenience food and agribusiness. That’s feel-good food.

Feature dish: Handkerchief pasta with braised lamb in aged balsamic 

Read our review here.

Where: 45/38 Mort Street, Braddon Act 2612
When: Open Monday-Wednesday 11.30am-3pm, 6pm-late; Thursday-Sunday 8am-12pm (breakfast), 11.30am-3pm (lunch), 6pm-late (dinner)
Contact: Phone 02 6230 5921 

Italian & Sons


Since 2009, Italian & Sons has spurred the evolution of Canberra’s restaurant culture in what was previously a light industrial area featuring car yards and rundown buildings. The Trimboli family, who also own the popular eateries Mezzalira and Da Rosario, grow their produce on their Gundaroo farm or source it from other Canberra growers. Now their Braddon restaurant also features a sophisticated wine bar, Bacaro – so you don’t have to move far to move on from your dinner.

Featured dish: Goats curd tortellini, pine nuts, currants, burnt sage butter and aged reggiano.

Read more about Bacaro here.

Where: 7 Lonsdale Street, Braddon Act 2612
When: Open Tuesday-Friday 12pm-3pm; Monday-Saturday 6pm-10pm
Contact: Phone 02 6162 4888

All images supplied

Astrid O'Neill

Astrid O’Neill has joined the HerCanberra team for a writing internship. Previously she’s studied at the University of Canberra and the University of Oxford, and worked for a bold little New York publishing company. She’s a Southsider at heart but now lives in Braddon with her fiancé, where they’re often planning their travels over a local brew. More about the Author

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