When this urbane restaurant -- modern in the very best sense (unpretentious, confident, and comfortable) -- opened in 2005, it was proof that the Cape Town dining scene had really come of age. Not only because it feels good to walk through (intimate spaces downstairs showcase the building's age with raw brickwork, offset with slate and glass, and plenty of wood; upstairs an ancient olive tree serves as organic centerpiece), but because the food is simple and straightforward, service is excellent, and owner Giorgio hasn't felt the compunction to charge exorbitant prices just because he can. It's affordable glam, and Capetonians love it (I've also heard that Italian visitors claim it's the best restaurant outside of Italy). The waitstaff is excellent, and suave Giorgio visits every table to ensure that the evening is going as expected. The menu is extensive, but start with one of the carpaccio choices and follow with the tuna, cooked "New York" style with anchovies, capers, olives, and tomatoes (incidentally, Giorgio has purchased his own boat to ensure the fish is truly fresh). For meat eaters, the pork loin, rolled with spinach and ricotta and served with mushroom sauce, is a definite hit; a good vegetarian choice is the butternut ravioli, tossed in browned sage butter.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Very Highly Recommended 2010