Farmhouse Restaurant, Pialligo Estate, ACT

Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Farmhouse Restaurant, Pialligo Estate, ACT.

The Farmhouse Restaurant at Pialligo Estate might just be a few clicks from Parliament House and the Canberra CBD, but its "farmhouse" tag still stands up to scrutiny. A-frame timber ceilings and travertine tile flooring bring a smart rural charm, while produce is sourced from the estate garden, olive grove, and much-awarded smokehouse. In contrast, the kitchen draws its talent from far and wide - including the stables of Alain Ducasse and Shannon Bennett. A six-course tasting menu gets off to a great start with a refined sabayon of smoked salmon, and hits a high note with some superbly cooked O'Connor Angus beef with shallots and pickled mushrooms. A compact wine list, with plenty of options by the glass, pits regional up-and-comers such as Eden Road against well-priced options from the Rhône, Mosel and Langhe. Some aspects of the experience (including service) could stand to benefit from further refinement. Still, for a very recent newcomer, this is a very promising start.

Lunch (Thurs-Sun noon-2.30pm), dinner (Thurs-Sat 6pm-9.30pm); Farmhouse Restaurant, Pialligo Estate, 18 Kallaroo Rd, Pialligo, ACT, (02) 6247 6060

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