The four dining rooms, all grouped together, one for the smokers, accommodate 150 with three wood-burning fireplaces adding fragrance to the warmth they distribute. Interesting and somewhat humourous bric-a-brac adorn the walls. A big pleasant surprise is the cellar downstairs, reached by a wonderful old wrought iron spiral staircase, or a conventional one for the less adventurous. This is a unique, comfortable and intensely satisfying underground venue, seating up to 30 for all functions, for quiet ones and for those who wish to kick up a storm.
The extensive bilingual (English/ Italian) moderately priced menu equates with the best anywhere in Gauteng. A taste: Tagliolini Panna e Salmone, thin ribbon noodles served with a smoked salmon and cream sauce; Penne alla Toscana, penne tossed with a sun-dried tomato, olives and basil tomato sauce; Fegato alla Veneziana, calves liver sauteed with caramelised onion, white wine and sage, served with polenta; Pollo Grigliato, a grilled free-range deboned baby chicken, with a lemon and herb marinade or zesty peri-peri.
There is a wicked selection of desserts, doubtless all enemies of the waistline, but what the hell. Live it up with Zuccotto, hazelnut with zabaglione parfaits in a maraschino Swiss roll garnished with chocolate and nuts and see if your conscience cares.
For those of modest means, but with a sound knowledge of the grape, there is an excellent wine list. And for those who play golf with their bank managers, Allesverloren Cabernet Sauvignon comes to mind. The pole position in the superb selection of champagne, by the way is occupied by Dom Perignon Rose '78.
Sunday: Lunch only
Tuesday - Saturday: 12:00 - close