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95 at Parks (Previously Carne Constantia)

95 at Parks (Previously Carne Constantia)
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Cost
R160 avg main meal
Ambience
Groups, Special occasions, Views
Food
Italian, Steak
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
No BYO

Critic's review

Kate Wilson

Food
A hybrid of Milanese chef Giorgio Nava’s 95 Keerom, and its meatier sibling, Carne, 95 at Parks is the ‘burbs-friendly incarnation that includes all Nava’s preferred Italian classics: steak tartare, carpaccio, salmon tartare, butternut ravioli and meat – lots and lots of meat. On the bone, off the bone, lamb, veal, beef – carnivores will not go hungry here, though the more interesting cuts such as skirt and hangar steak are not in evidence. There’s also fresh pasta made daily and a variety of salads to satisfy the lunch crowd.

At 95 Keerom, Nava is famous for his butternut-and-ricotta ravioli and his chocolate fondant, both of which have been proclaimed as the best in Cape Town at one time or another. Having ordered both at 95 at Parks, I can attest to this. (You cannot go wrong with sage brown butter and liquid chocolate.)

The steak tartare is a little disappointing compared with my memory of it at 95 Keerom, where mounds of chopped capers, anchovies, onion and condiments encircle the beef with its crown of raw yolk for self-assembly. At Parks, the tartare comes pre-mixed. It’s still very good, but I miss the table-side squelching. The meaty mains, however, live up to their Carne counterparts, with prime cuts sourced from Nava’s own farms and seasonal preparations like osso buco and braised shortribs warm the cockles of your heart.

Drinks
The wine list is an appropriate combo of offerings from the Constantia area, with some outliers and Italian classics.

Service
There’s not a lot of personality, but the service is acceptable and not over-bearing.

Ambience
Several different dining rooms result in quite a subdued atmosphere. The décor has also undergone a bit of suburbanising to suit the Victorian house setting.

Best for…
Date nights and similar romantic assignations

(August 2018)

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

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  • Graham Howe

    Food
    This new sister restaurant of 95 Keerom in downtown Cape Town opened in Constantia in mid-2017, adding fine Italian cuisine to the meatier mix of what was formerly Carné Constantia. Milanese chef-patron Giorgio Nava takes northern Italian cuisine to new heights. Fine artisanal Italian and South African ingredients are the secrets of his winning formula. A passion for attention to detail and authenticity shows in the preparation of home-baked breads, homemade pasta, stocks and sauces, and in the rich and layered flavours on the plate.

    Whet your appetite with complimentary home-baked focaccia, bread sticks and ciabatta served with seasonal vegetable tempura. The signature beef ragout pasta and the ravioli of slow-baked Karoo lamb in sage butter and lamb bone jus – served with shaved two month-old grana Padano – are simply divine. Vegetarians will adore the quinoa, lentil salads, gnocchi in gorgonzola-and-pecan sauce, and butternut ravioli.

    The antipasti menu tempts with classics like prosciutto with melon, beef or salmon carpaccio or tartare, as well as creative garden salads and caprese with burrata mozzarella. Also leave room for the meatier side of the menu featuring prime-aged cuts like the tender and succulent grass-fed sirloin on the bone, their fillet, the slow-cooked short ribs and their hearty Milanese osso buco. The piquant steak sauces are legendary – try the classic béarnaise or green peppercorn.

    Leave space for the chocolate fondant with its molten lava of decadent dark chocolate. No shortcuts are taken in this gourmet Italian kitchen.

    Drinks
    The wine list is inspired by local Constantia and Cape wines as well as Italian grappa, prosecco and wines.

    Ambience
    Smart-casual, intimate and relaxed. This stand-alone dining destination has green botanical tones and arty 1930s Campari murals in the relaxed setting of a grand Victorian house filled with dolce vita.

    Service
    The friendly, warm and professional staff advise on the ingredients and composition of signature dishes.

    And…
    On a warm summer’s day, lunch al fresco under the pergola in the baroque-style cottage garden, or enjoy a pre-dinner aperitif or digestif in the conservatory bar.

    (August 2017)

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

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User reviews

  • Access and parking are easy. One minute off the Blue Route and you are turning through the very welcoming motor entrance. Even though the restaurant was fully booked and we were among the last diners to arrive for the evening, the atmosphere was calm and welcoming. The house has been tastefully renovated and the layout of the tables leads to a sense of spaciousness when seated. Seating is comfortable and there is enough room on the table that there is no feeling of clutter. Service was friendly but not obsequious. Thankfully, no one came to ask if we were "enjoying our meal". The winelist is comprehensive and interesting, with a range to suit most pockets. We chose the Doolhof Malbec, which was recommended by our knowledgeable waiter. Not disappointed. Our choices were standard Italian fare, penne with tomato sauce and vegetables, (all my dining companion could manage) and for me a local slant on ravioli (stuffed with karroo lamb) followed by liver veneziana with spinach contorno. Affogato to finish. Suffice to say all plates returned empty to the kitchen. All in all, a most enjoyable evening. Admittedly based on a small sample of dishes, my impression is that 95 at Parks offers authentic quality Italian cooking in a pleasant setting at a moderate price. Bravo Giorgio! Ritorneremo a presto.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • Serves food

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