Il Covo – a hidden gem in Canberra

Eat Canberra

Winter in Canberra is a truly beautiful time of year. The leaves have fallen and there is a definite winter chill in the air. Dishes are becoming richer, and Canberrans are searching for mid-week feasts to stay warm. Winter is also a time to celebrate fresh seasonal produce, and that is exactly what Il Covo did recently at their pear-themed dinner.

We had the pleasure of attending a 6-course degustation dinner, with every course featuring pears. Il Covo is located in a quiet building opposite the Canberra Casino. I admit, it’s an area of Canberra I don’t usually frequent for good food – but that is all about to change!

We were greeted by friendly wait staff, who had great enthusiasm for the menu they were dishing up. Our first course, ricotta stuffed courgettes with pear, was a great start to the night. A light and fluffy filling, with lots of subtle flavours, encased in a light batter, perfectly matched with a local sparkling wine, the 2016 Mt Majura Silurian.

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Our second course was a decadent white pizza – brie cheese, pear and pistachios, also paired with a local Canberra wine, the 2016 Nick O’Leary Riesling. It was a quite a testament to flavour how quickly we ate it!

Our third course was my dish of the night. Fresh ocean trout, walnuts, pear and creamy feta. To me, this is autumn on a plate. It was light, fresh and very enjoyable. Staying consistent with the wine selection, we were served a local Wamboin wine, the 2016 Mada Pinot Gris, a beautiful pairing to bring out the soft texture of the feta. The photos do not do justice to this beautiful dish!

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The fourth course was a warm, rich dish of perfectly cooked duck leg served on creamy pear, brussel sprout and mushroom base. It was decadent and a perfect end to our savoury courses. The 2016 Malluluka Pinot Noir was a lighter red wine to match this course.

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Our dessert was a memorable affair. First, we were served a pear sorbet pallet cleanser, light with a nice undertone of acidity to prepare us for our pending sweetness overload – and it did not disappoint! Dessert was a poached pear served with a coconut pannacotta on a chocolate fudge and amaretto crumble. It was a rich, naughty dessert that truly celebrated pear.

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I admit, I had never heard of Il Covo but after a great meal, I will certainly be heading back for their next themed menu.

Il Covo host degustation events that feature seasonal produce so keep an eye on their Facebook page for details about the next event. They also have a vegan menu available. Eat Canberra dined at Il Covo’s fig degustation earlier in the year. Eat Canberra dined as a guest but all opinions are the author’s own. 

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The last dinner at Il Covo featured figs. This was the delicious dessert served with a local wine.

About the author:

Louise Adena grew up in Canberra and has been fortunate to combine a love of travel with a love of food and wine. She thinks that the best way to experience a new culture is to immerse yourself in the food. Since returning from her first overseas trip, she’s enjoyed seeing Australia’s food culture develop and being exposed to new flavours and a variety of produce. She’s a passionate foodie, and she love experimenting with new dishes in her kitchen or at a new pop-up food stall or restaurant. She’s a fan of fresh seasonal produce and enjoys menus that feature the best that a region can offer.


il Covo cafe e pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato