If the sign of a convivial venue is the volume of cheerful conversation then a recent revamp has turned things up a notch at Ostani restaurant and bar at Hotel Realm in Barton. Designer décor by Capezio Copeland creates a variety of seating areas that flow seamlessly between the sophisticated interior and a light-filled courtyard.

The executive chef, Fabien Wagnon (also behind adjoining Frenchstyle bistro Buvette), has amped up the crowd-pleasing menu of pizzas and burgers with diverse bites such as Sichuan pepper calamari with harissa mayonnaise, fried polenta and parmesan chips or grass-fed Angus rump seared on the new chargrill. Kick back with an intriguing cocktail like the Tarte à la Rhubarbe – gin with spicy flavours of falernum syrup and rhubarb purée muddled with egg white – or a brew such as BentSpoke Crankshaft IPA. Local wines are available by the glass or carafe and if there’s something worth celebrating, try the Chain of Fire brut or splash out with a bottle of Billecart-Salmon.

18 National Circuit, Barton; (02) 6163 1802; open seven days for lunch and dinner.

SEE ALSO: A Family-friendly Guide to Canberra

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