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Café del Sol Classico

Café del Sol Classico
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Cost
R140 avg main meal
Ambience
Groups, Quick meals, Special occasions
Food
Bistro fare, Italian, Mediterranean, Modern, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R80 wine; R160 sparkling; local wine R120; imported wine R350 (max 3 bottles)

Critic's review

Kate Liquorish

The Café Del Sol brand is renowned for its eclectic Italian cuisine that’s bold on flavour and generous on portions, and Café Del Sol Classico is where it all started 11 years ago.

Food
Expect comfort food with panache – a taste of Italy with an eclectic twist, taking classics and reimagining them with flair.

For starters you can’t go wrong with any one of the three carpaccios: smoked salmon, springbok or beetroot, although if you’re not a fan of reductions (balsamic and the like), ask for them without. Notable too are the creamy sage and mustard chicken livers and the crumbed squid heads served with a roasted garlic mayonnaise – delicious.

For mains the stuffed calamari, balsamico fillet and lamb rack are favourites, as are any of the freshly made pastas and decadent risottos – always perfectly al dente and dripping in luxurious sauces. Another standout is the porcini mushroom chicken with porcini and pea risotto; it’s a dish that tastes of home (anything made with this much butter is guaranteed to please), the chicken breasts are served on the bone, cooked to perfection and paired with a creamy and sultry risotto. And, if you’re looking for a value-for-money option, the simple pasta napoletana is an absolute treat.

For dessert, look no further than the central counter bourgeoning in freshly made, dense and voluptuous cakes – the cheesecake and chocolate cake are musts. The salted caramel crème brûlée, served with popcorn ice cream, or any one of the homemade gelatos are certain to hit the spot.

Drinks
An ample list of varietals, both local and international. There’s something for every palate as well as every wallet, and a comprehensive list by the glass means perfect pairings with a quick lunch or supper. There’s also the added touch of Veuve Cliquot and Nicolas Feuillatte champagnes by the glass, for those in the mood for a mini celebration.

Service
Service is on point: hands-on management and knowledgeable waiters work the floor as a team. If you visit them more than once, they’ll be sure to remember your name and favourite fancy.

Ambience
It’s fresh and inviting, with quirky quotes and a host of awards decorating the walls. The open-plan kitchen takes centre stage, energising the space with the buzz of pots and pans and the smell of melting butter. During the day it’s frequented by ladies that lunch and business folk alike, whilst dinner sees mostly couples and families enjoying an evening out.

Best for…
Business lunches and romantic dinners.

(2018)

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.

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  • Food
  • Steven Steinfeld

    Food
    Café Del Sol Classico, as its name suggests, was the first of what’s come to be a trio of restaurants, but the name also points to the type of food on offer – classic, homemade Italian food just as it’s made in mamma’s kitchen. The mama in this case, Luciana, owns and runs the restaurants together with her daughter Chiara and son Ryan.

    For starters, try the popular crispy calamari heads with a squeeze of lemon and their homemade garlic aioli; or the tricolore salad – an ode to the Italian flag – of gorgeous fior di latte mozzarella, avocado, and plum tomatoes garnished with basil leaves.

    Have a main course of pasta, either the beautiful homemade ravioli of the day or the silky smooth tagliatelle with a rich and creamy porcini whiskey sauce. If pasta’s not your forte, the porcini chicken with a green pea and truffle oil risotto or the tender rolled pork fillet filled with parma ham, smoked mozzarella and fontina cheese are just two options under the extensive ‘secondi’ offerings, ensuring that there’s something for anyone.

    Finish off the meal with a gorgeously smooth and creamy panna cotta – we had a beautiful vanilla one topped with strawberries and berry coulis – together with a fantastic espresso on the side.

    Drinks
    The wine menu is extensive with a wide range of both international and local wines at varying price points. The gems are, as expected, on the pricier side but the list also features a great selection of quaffable and affordable options. The section ‘Proudly South African Italian’ is a fantastic addition and a great way to highlight some lesser-known locally grown varietals. Corkage is restricted to one bottle for two people and only allows for bottles not on the wine list.

    Service
    The spirit of family is felt through the restaurant and the staff are no exception. Warm and welcoming with an in-depth knowledge of what’s on offer, the friendly staff manage to easily execute a smooth and sleek service even when the restaurant is full.

    Ambience
    They’re known for their unique décor, which consists of words of wisdom and inspiration covering most portions of exposed wall space and even parts of the floor. Despite its location in a small parking lot shopping centre. The restaurant has garnered a strong and loyal following – as such, bookings are highly recommended.

    And…
    So fresh are the homemade pastas and gnocchi that only a few portions of each are made for each service.

    (October 2017)

    Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.

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User reviews

  • Will forever be my favorite restaurant. Everything was wonderful . Its a bit noisy understandable, there were a lot of diners as well as serving staff. Well done to management. Impeccable.
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  • Such a lovely restaurant. Amazing vibe and freshly prepared food. I can definitely recommend the chocolate fondant!
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  • What a gem! Had an amazing birthday dinner here. The food was impeccable and definitely the best creme brulee I have ever tasted! The waiters are very professional and add to the whole experience. Thank you! We will be seeing you again soon!
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  • Best meal I have had in the last 10 years!!
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  • We came for our Anniversary celebration. The waiter was professional, the ambiance was lovely but most importantly the food was outstanding! We will definitely be back.
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  • We had a lovely lunch once again- really great food, well prepared and good service to match. The chef’s special of Fillet on the bone was melt in the mouth. Make sure you leave room for pud.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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