The Sea Point restaurant revival is fast making its way down the Main Road strip. With the already-buzzing Regent Road area and the revamp of The Ritz and Adelphi Centre, the Atlantic Seaboard has gained its very own foodie hub with a slew of new hotspots.
Excitement was widespread when the news arrived that well-established Nonna Lina in Gardens, a local favourite since 2003, would start an offshoot in Sea Point. The new branch has just opened its doors on the Main Road stretch, with a modern look and the same top-quality pizzas. Eat Out critic Nikita Buxton heads to Nonna Lina Sea Point for a fix of good Italian food.
Cost: R105 for average main meal
Parking: Find one on Main Road, or take the MyCiti bus or a taxi
Best for: Classic Italian food
Star ratings: Food: 4, Ambience: 3, Service: 4
The launch of the Nonna Lina brand was a way for chef Antenello Scamuzzi to keep the memory of his late grandmother Lina alive. The comforting Sardinian-style food hits the spot with fresh, homey flavours.
Like on the Gardens menu, the offering here features the familiar favourites of antipasti, salads, pasta, and pizza. A refreshing change to complimentary bread is the old school-style bruschetta topped with juicy freshly chopped tomatoes and olive oil.
Start things off with antipasti to share, like the Sardinian pane guttaiu (paper-thin bread served warm with extra virgin olive oil and salt), or a satisfyingly salty plate of Italian meats and cheeses with sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes.
The small list of pastas features generous portions of comforts like the tomatello in a classic Sardinian tomato sauce, or the wildly popular and indulgent sugo alla crema di gamberi, with a creamy tomato sauce and prawns. Choose from penne, linguine or gluten-free pasta.
The pizza is the game-changer here. The light, crisp bases are made-to-order in the roaring wood-fired oven. Choose from a small or large base and go to town with toppings like the Sarda with pecorino, salame and fresh tomato, or the Siciliana with capers, olives and grilled aubergines. The true winner, however, is the Estate. This beauty comes topped with fresh tomatoes, creamy buffalo-style mozzarella and fresh basil leaves. It’s simple but incredibly moreish. If you’re feeling slightly virtuous, pair your pizza or pasta party with one of the inventive salads. The panzanella is great, as is the marinated artichoke salad with red onions, roasted pine nuts and chive vinaigrette.
The restaurant doesn’t have its liquor licence yet, but is encouraging patrons to bring their own tipple.
Fast, friendly and informative.
The new smaller Nonna Lina has a more modern style than the original restaurant, but it still offers added cosiness with the pizza oven and warm lighting.
Head to neighbouring The Dairy Den for a doughnut and soft serve fix on your way home.