Where: 4th Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg
Tel: 011 880 1870
Our friends met us at this small, warm and cozy italian ristorante in parktown north last friday night and we were in for a very pleasant surprise! A very pleasant ambiance, despite our loud table ;)
We were greated with an appetizer of fried dough, that we all liked so much, we asked for more. Then we ordered three starters for the table: Melanzane parmagiana, Garlic Prawns and Antipasto. They were all amazing.
The Melanzane had a hearty napolitana and so much mozarella di bufala it just melted in your mouth (we were literally fighting for the last bit). The prawns were perfectly cooked in a garlic, chili and olive oil infusion, which some of us wished we had ordered as a main. The Antipasto was rather small (in its regular size) but high quality, including about 50g of parma ham and half a mozarella di bufala ball (the pic below is of a double portion we had after the meal, that's how much we loved it).
For mains there were several choices on the table that looked great, I tried all of them, but may struggle to order anything other than the Frutti di mare going forward.. although I heard later on that the gnocchi is also amazing. The steak tagliata was nicely cooked and very tender, with lovely crisp potato wedges. The bolognese was very tasty and the pappardelle it was served with was delicious. The Osso Bucco was served with peas and polenta and my husband said he would come back for it as it was tender and had the taste he remembered from his days living in Italy. My frutti di mare though, was the winner. Served in a napolitana sauce with all the juices from the seafood (of which a good mix and sizable portion was provided), smothered over the most delicious pasta I've had in SA. They called it Scialatielli, sort of like a thicker tagliatelle.
And dessert... go for the napolitan sponge cake, drenched in a syrup that tastes like limoncello, nona's recipe indeed! Or a more edgy basil panacotta with a very creamy feel and the contrast of strawberry syrup.
In all honesty, we really liked the place and will totally be going back. Just perhaps don't order too much grappa, like we did, as it can add up quite a bit to your bill!