Green Vines Eatery on the Silvermist Mountain Lodge and Wine Estate (also home to the new La Colombe) is a lovely new family-friendly addition to the Constantia and Hout Bay area, offering quality ingredients, a warm atmosphere and great views.
Chef Craig Anderson has concocted a simple but clever menu at this casual eatery, using organic and free-range ingredients where possible, and ensuring speedy delivery of good-looking plates of food. Breakfast offers the usual favourites with lots of add-ons to customise your dish, and there are options for kids, too, making it a great choice for families at weekends.
Lunch is divided into platters and standard sandwiches, wraps and salads with a specials board detailing the seasonal dishes. The unusual but totally must-order French gruyère platter is outstanding: delicious cold meats and salad served with boiled potatoes and a large pot of the yummiest, most heart-warming gruyère dunking sauce. It’s like a combination of a fondue and a raclette – such a simple idea, but so delicious. Served with Craig’s homemade bread selection (his unusual curry bread was an absolute joy), it’s a great winter lunch option for two. Dishes are attractively served on wooden boards and everything is obviously homemade, with the exception of the fries that accompanied the very tasty beetroot, goat’s cheese and walnut quiche. (They were hot and tasty, but hand-cut chips or wedges would have fitted in better here.) The dessert section is small, with homemade ice creams and a good espresso-and-dark-chocolate panna cotta rounding off the meal in style.
The wines are nearly all from Constantia, with Silvermist’s own understandably promoted first. It’s a short list, fairly priced, that offers a few choices by the glass. There are also some craft beers and the usual soft drinks, teas and coffees.
Staff are friendly, smiling and willing, but there were not enough of them and they lacked product knowledge, having to check the bread of the day and knowing little or nothing about the specials. The waiter struggled to open the wine bottle with an entirely inappropriate corkscrew and served it clumsily, so more training is needed all round. But while you can teach skills, you can’t teach good attitude, so with some training and extra hands on the floor, this can easily be sorted out.
The eatery is a pretty space, split into two sections with a lovely terrace and large lawn, all overlooking the Constantia valley falling away below. The bottom section is cute and cosy with sofas and a warming fire, whilst the covered stoep has great views but can be chilly on a cold day. Signage is needed outside to direct customers to the front door; most people enter via the conference facility and look confused.
There are a few niggles, but nothing that can’t be worked out. This is a lovely new family-friendly addition to the Constantia and Hout Bay area, offering quality ingredients, a nice atmosphere and great views.
Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals. Read more about our editorial policy here.