Reviewed: Locanda at Villa 47

Food24 gets taken to Italy with authentic, quality food.

by: Ceili McGeever
 
locanda,villa 47,bree street,cape town,restaurants
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It’s not very often that you walk into a restaurant and instantly feel like you’ve been transported someplace new. The restaurant in particular is Locanda at the new exceptionally trendy Villa 47 complex, soon to be everyone’s place-to-be. 

Three days in and the place was packed, having to deny people a sacred seat when they entered without a booking. One woman looked like she might throw a tantrum when turned away, and it started feeling like I was in some plush Manhattan eatery I’ve only read about online – and I didn’t mind at all.

locanda,villa 47,bree street,cape town,restaurants

locanda,villa 47,bree street,cape town,restaurants

The service matched this as well, always one step ahead and very friendly. Our waiter Dane was eager to help us, and he mirrored the air of excitement that surrounded him.

It’s a great quality when you can feel the restaurant’s new presence, and Locanda’s is certainly a bold one. Firstly you notice the Parisian-like deck and awnings where they have successfully created outdoor seating without making you feel like you’re sitting right on the pavement. Stackable sliding doors unite the outdoor with the indoor keeping the atmosphere fluid between the two.

locanda,villa 47,bree street,cape town,restaurants

The décor is a cool mix of Japanese-esque light wood and round hanging lampshades, bistro-style white marble tiles, and a thick light marble bar outlining the kitchen, where you can eat and watch the executive chef Clayton Bell and chef Vittorio in action. They hit all the right trend points but nothing is overdone, keeping the overall execution quite classic. They also deli things up, with stacked Italian food items, which of course makes sense, the owner’s being Michele Mirotto and Luciano Previtera of Rialto Foods.


locanda,villa 47,bree street,cape town,restaurants

locanda,villa 47,bree street,cape town,restaurants


The food was a good balance of homey Italian cooking, complemented by a semi-fine-dining preparation. We (myself and 2 two dinner companions) started off with a cold meat platter for two and the Villa 47 salad, which is your classic cos lettuce, toasted pine nuts and shavings of Parmigiano with an addition of avo. Salad was an easy win due to the fine quality of ingredients, Locanda’s strong point.

locanda,villa 47,bree street,cape town,restaurants


locanda,villa 47,bree street,cape town,restaurants


Again this held through with the meat platter. The restaurant has a small cold room for meats and cheese where you can watch the charcutier, Vittorio, prepare the platters. He also came out to describe each item which consisted of salami, mortadella and Parma ham. The care and passion for food is evident and appears to reach all corners of the restaurant.

locanda,villa 47,bree street,cape town,restaurants

Mains saw a Pomodorino linguine, Parma filled tortellini and one pan-fried veal with polenta chips. For me, simple Italian food always indicates a good Italian cook. My Pomodorino did just that, with it’s sautéed cherry tomatoes, garlic, chilli and grated Grana Padano, and cooked al denté. The tortellini was in a creamy ragu, done the proper way with minimal sauce to let the flavour of the actual pasta and filling take charge.

locanda,villa 47,bree street,cape town,restaurants

locanda,villa 47,bree street,cape town,restaurants

The veal, unsurprisingly, tasted slightly cured, and served with Prosciutto Crudo. Buttery, ultra tender, thinly sliced and topped with mixed Italian herbs made this dish superb.

locanda,villa 47,bree street,cape town,restaurants

Lastly, a panna cotta for dessert. As Massimo Bottura would say, a panna cotta must dance on the plate, and he would have definitely been happy with Locanda’s version of the dessert.  The yoghurt flavour was infused with specks of vanilla pod and paired with rose-scented raspberry coulis and fresh figs. Yes it was as brilliant as the description suggests; light and creamy with subtle sour raspberry, and sweet figs.

locanda,villa 47,bree street,cape town,restaurants

Locanda took me straight to Italy. The pasta, the Italian wine, the cold meats, the panna cotta, everything tasted authentic and emanated a superior quality. On top of that, Locanda is offering something that often gets lost in restaurants, a genuine passion for the food being prepared. And this goes for every detail within the restaurant down to the carefully selected cutlery. Perhaps it is the Italian in them that keeps this passion alive, and I hope it lasts because this is a true Bree Street treasure.

locanda,villa 47,bree street,cape town,restaurants

Watch this space as Villa 47 will be opening it's Asian tapas bar and fine dining restaurant in the coming months.

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*Dining expenses where paid for by Food24.



- Ceili McGeever

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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