Venues

Fabio’s Ristorante

Fabio’s Ristorante
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Cost
R120
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Bakery fare, Deli fare, Italian, Pizzas, Vegetarian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Richard Holmes

Food
You’re spoilt for choice here with a wide-ranging menu that runs from risotto to pasta to pizza. Aside from a few lighter dishes, the focus is on Italian comfort food with a wide range of trattoria classics. Pastas are offered in a range of homemade sauces, while the more substantial carne and pesce options will suit those with a big appetite. The vitello limone and lamb shanks roasted with lemon, red wine and rosemary are both popular options. Prices are fair and the portions generous, but not all hit the mark. A dish of good-quality gnocchi was let down by gorgonzola sauce curiously devoid of flavour. The wood-fired pizzas are always a safe bet though, and are available with both classic (Margherita) and more adventurous (boerewors and bacon) toppings. To finish, you’ll find a sizeable dessert menu that ticks all the trattoria boxes: Venetian cassata, tiramisu and canoli’s.

Drinks
A surprisingly wide-ranging list that leans heavily towards local estates, supplemented by a handful of major labels from further afield. There’s a small selection of Italian wines. Wines by the glass are limited.

Service
Plenty of homegrown Italian warmth, with Fabio himself often out on the floor, but rather hit-and-miss in the efficiency department.

Ambience
A trattoria and proud of it, from the clichéd décor to the tricolore paper napkins. Unpretentious, cosy and welcoming.

And…
The selection of local and Italian grappas will tempt you into enjoying a digestif.

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  • Greg Landman

    Food 
    This is the sort of place where the owner, Fabio himself, goes into the hills around Hermanus to gather porcini mushrooms, which you might be lucky to enjoy fresh in the most delicious risotto or dried at a later stage. Twice recognised by the Italian Chamber of Commerce as being the only Italian restaurant in the Overberg truly reflecting authentic Italian characteristics, this is the place to go when you want to indulge in the real thing.

    Fabulous carpaccios of beef or smoked springbok, delicate and delicious, topped with parmesan shavings and anointed with the best olive oil, make great starters. The same goes for the rich but satisfying baked mushrooms with gorgonzola and spinach. Try one of the pastas, maybe with prawn and clam meat in a creamy sauce or smoked salmon in a rich tomato sauce with a touch of garlic. There are 23 pizzas if you really must, including one with boerewors, bacon, ham and onion. You’ll find plenty of meat and fish dishes, as well as the freshest, most inventive of salads, one with rich blue cheese dressing. Finish up with one of the semi-freddo deserts, the version made with Kahlua is completely irresistible.

    Drinks 
    They offer a very good list with local treasures (like the Ataraxia Sauvignon Blanc and the Strandveld First Sighting Shiraz) and others to suit most tastes and pockets. Also on offer is a good list of aperitivos (to enjoy before your meal) like Prosecco with a shot of that delicious Italian liqueur, Aperol, and digestivos (for afterwards), like the best Italian grappas.

    Service 
    Friendly and attentive in the country manner.

    Ambience 
    Not having a share of 'the view' on which many of Hermanus’s restaurants pride themselves, this place tries harder, with a charming, very authentic interior that's cosy and delightful in winter and in the evenings. There is a verandah on the street side, which is popular in the summer.

    And... 
    Do visit the deli and take home some real Italian goodies.

    (July 2014)

  • Greg Landman

    Food
    This is the real thing as far as Italian food is concerned in this neck of the woods. This is attested to by Fabio being awarded yet another citation from the Italian Chamber of Commerce for presenting food that is in keeping with their high standards. Expect the most superb pasta dishes with prawns, seafood, creamy smoked salmon, artichokes and so on. There are more than 30 different combinations. If risottos are your thing, he makes them with porcini picked in the hills around Hermanus; else go on to the meat dishes like veal strips in cream, game and lamb cutlets. End with semi freddo zabaglione with various alcoholic additions like Amaretto – heaven.

    Wine
    A good list, if somewhat pricey in certain categories. Nevertheless, you’ll find something suitable.

    Service
    Friendly and professional.

    Ambience
    Though not sharing any of the view for which Hermanus is famous, this is a real Italian trattoria which delivers plenty of charm and such good food you will not be disappointed.

    And…
    Take home some of the excellent Italian fare available at their deli.

    (February 2014)
  • Food
    Expect the best kind of Italian cooking with fresh ingredients lovingly handled. The mushroom risotto, made with porcini gathered by Fabio in the Hermanus hills, has that distinct Marmite smell and is deliciously meaty. The veal dishes are superb; pizzas are like mama used to make them; and pastas with creamy or meaty sauces are all fabulous. This is one of only ten restaurants in South Africa to qualify for the Marchio Ospitalità Italiana by the Italian Chamber of commerce (Rome) for authenticity.

    Wine
    A very good list, not badly priced, features some great wines from the Walker Bay area and some Italian examples.

    Service
    Very good, light and relaxed with Fabio himself often there.

    Ambience
    Molto simpatico. Nice and cosy with checkered tablecloths and Italian pics on the wall. It’s casual and relaxed, except when it comes to the food, about which they are serious.

    And...
    Take something home from the deli, where you’ll find some imported gems, carefully chosen. (GL, October 2012)

User reviews

  • If you want to enjoy real and authentic Italian food, then go to Fabio´s ristorante in Hermanus. It tastes there even better than it does at some places in Italy (as I have been living there partly, I really know it). The portions are not only copious, they are HUGE. The menu offers a lot of dishes, you get even in Italy seldom like the ossobuco. If you want them to prepare something special, they are always willing to do it. Ask them to add their great sundried tomatoes to the pasta. It tastes delicious. And the mouthwatering Tiramisu will drive you mad..... If one looks around at that place, he doesn´t feel being in South Africa. The tasteful decoration, the paintings, the tables outside, the coffee machine and its sound, the smell - all that reminds Italy. And it is a place owned by real Italians with a long past in the gastronomy. So you might a chat in Italian with the owners. And what is unique: it is one of the rare places, where everybody of the staff seems to be enthousiastic about their jobs. I have never experienced such a nice, welcoming stuff greeting everybody by his name and with a smile. You feel welcome in a sincere way. Great food, great stuff, great place!!!!
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  • They make us happy!!! Again!
    We did visit Fabio's for the second time at our holliday this year after 2012. This is the italien feeling that we are looking for if we are thinking about a typical italien restaurant. this is enjoying italien food at it's best! we had penne ala vodka my son's favorit, pizza salami as little princess wish's, lamb shank for my wife and ossobuco with polenta was my choice. Fabio, u and your team get a extra star * for this really perfect dinner. Bye the way the wine was really a good great choice, HermanusPetersfontain Skoonma!
    Thank you, and u can be sure we will see u there again!
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  • Italy on my doorstep!! A hop-skip and a jump to this quaint little Italian Ristorante in my neck of the woods!! A block from the most amazing whale viewing cliff paths! The owner Fabio is a hugable Teddy Bear with as big a heart and passion for anything Italian. Little Italy, with their outdoor seating just inviting you over for a quick chat to the locals over a glass of Red!! (even if you aren't going to eat)

    We have had the most amazing meals, paper thin pizza bases with gorgeous toppings, Gnocchi, soft and delishes little cushions of potato dumplings served with amazing sauces!! The Vongole Rosse (Clams in a pomodore sauce) is out of this world.The Involtini (Veal) is just as I remember eating in Italy!! Often their blackboard specials have lured us in even though we never intended eating out!!

    Where else in SA could you get a Limoncello Dom Pedro??(my all time favourite!)
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  • Thinking of a good meal in the Overberg brings Fabios Ristorante straight to my mind. Been there many times and just love the ambiance and the good Italian food. Good choice of wines on the wine list. The pIzza variety never seems to disappoint the taste buds. Hope for many happy returns
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  • A most enjoyable evening of good food and attentive staff. We ordered a Prawn and Pea Risotto - with flavours that were amazing. The Siciliana Pizza with paper thin base was phenomenal. The best ever. We will most certainly return soon!

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  • Fabio's restaurant was very average for us. The food was bland and there was a lack of atmosphere. Saw a great deal of staff that did not look very happy working there. Pity as we were looking forward to a lovely Italian dinner, but were sadly disappointed with the lack of flavour and ambience. Also, food very expensive and not of best standard.

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  • After reading many reviews on the various websites, virtually all giving them the thumbs up, we took some friedns to this little corner of Italy in Hermanus which we last visited more then 10 years ago.

    Unfurtunately our experience was not all that great.

    The rather expensive porcini risotto was lumpy and crunchy - definitely not the oozy consistency expected. At R80 for a starter portion - fail.

    My friend's starter fish soup arrived about 15 minutes after the other starters (having had to ask for it again).

    My wive's melanzane was raw - we ordered a replacement (crumbed chicken dish) which lacked imagination and arrived when the rest of us had already finished our main courses.

    The red wine was served at South African room temperature - epic fail - they join the other 99% of South African restaurants that somehow simply cannot afford a wine chiller! I can't remember when last I could order red wine without the ice bucket to get it down to drinkable temperature.

    Finally - the dessert menu looked like it contained factory produced desserts and we gave it a skip.

    My motto is, "Life is too short to eat at the same place twice", but even if it wasn't I won't be back any time soon.

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  • Truly excellent and delicious food. Gnocchi, pasta and pizza were all top class. A very satisfying evening indeed!

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  • If somebody had to put a gun to my head and force me to say one good thing about Fabio's restaurant I would be forced to compliment his winelist choices. As far as the prices, the quality of the food, and the portions are concerned - It's a momentous rip-off and I can't believe that he is supported by the locals. Never again!

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  • I must say that the experience we had at Fabio's left much to be desired. You would expect that an 'authentic' Italian restaurant would at least make their own pasta, but no. The service we received was slow and she knew very little about the menu - which was extremely over priced. Our order came out incorrect, but not wishing to stay any longer than we had to, we took what we were given and left soon afterwards. I would not recommend this restaurant at all.

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  • Delighted with the Lamb Shanks. How can anything else be said if I have been going to Fabio's for years just for the Tuscan Lamb Shanks? He makes the Springbok Shanks too and that blew me away. They are such great people - honest and hardworking and as I know them, they will always accommodate in every possible way. They also certainly offer value for money with portions which are delightful - all round a lovely authentic Italian restaurant.

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  • My dining experience at this establishment was not so good. I ordered a lamb shank with spaghetti, but it was served with tagliatelle instead. Before ordering, I had asked the waittress what sauce the chef will be using with the pasta and was told that it would be a wine-based sauce. What ended up in my plate was clearly not a wine-based sauce. Instead, it was essentially plenty of olive oil with a few drops of balsamic vinegar and more than a handful of dry rosemary. Expectedly, the dish was oily, relatively plain in flavour, and because too much dry rosemary was used, it was somewhat bitter. Overall, it was not a good quality dish and certainly not worth what I paid for it. Actually, I've had much better lamb shank, at half the price, in a small café last year.

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  • What a pleasure, all was great , tasty, fantastic. delightful and homely.The menu is incredible - I need to go back many times to taste all the great food they offer. We had four different meals, all were great and could not fault any of them. The wine list is favourable to the wallet and certainly has many choices . The service is friendly and faultless. What a team at Fabio's - well done to all.

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  • Food is great value for money, not expensive at all. Great wine list, why take your own as the prices are reasonable. Great service, great music, clean, neat, and the owners are always there. Fresh food; the veal involtini is just fantastic and the pasta & pizza choices are so well priced, must be crazy not to go to Fabios, cannot believe you have not been there yet!
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  • Excellent atmosphere. Authentic Italian restaurant. You do not find many of these around. Excellent choice of dishes, all freshly prepared and delicious. I love the Peroni deck! We often eat at Fabios for an intimate authentic experience. Well done Fabio!
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  • Food is OK but expensive (R145 for veal medallions), but the wines are terribly expensive and, since recently, a R45 corkage is applied which is outrageous!
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  • Recently went to Fabio’s with the family, what a pleasure. It’s not often you find an authentic Italian restaurant with proper Italian cuisine. Incredible value for money, all round pleasant experience, great atmosphere, perfect friendly service, amazing speciality dishes that can only be found at Fabio’s and the Italian sidewalk atmosphere felt just like being in Italy. The other so called ‘Italian restaurants’ in Hermanus have nothing on Fabio’s. For those who aren’t fond of pastas or pizzas, Fabio’s offers wonderful seafood and meat dishes. The rolled veal with Parma ham and pecorino cheese cooked the Italian way was unbelievably delicious. A range of deli products are available including Limoncello, Grappa and various cold meats and cheeses. I would recommend it to anyone going to Hermanus.
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  • My wife and I felt like we were back in Italy last evening visiting Fabios Ristorante. Food from starters to desert Italian through and through. Delicious to say the least. But I have to ask the question, why so expensive? Most of the dishes are more expensive than we had to pay at Bizerca (a Top 10 Restaurant) a couple of weeks ago. Corkage R45! Restaurateurs are probably spoiled by the many overseas visitors we have, even more so in Hermanus!I cannot help but recall the advertorial of Hussar Grill, now 45 years established in Cape Town, that do not charge corkage although they qualify each year for either a Platinum or Diamond Diners Club Wine List award.Be that as it may I enjoyed the food and ambience and the owner may rightly have asked, why the moan about prices? You decided what you wanted to eat! Great experience nevertheless!
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  • Having often driven past in the hope that it would be open for lunch we were delighted at around 13,30 yesterday, to find that it was. Our arrival was a bit luke warm, management informing us that they close at 2pm!! Needless to say a table was willingly organised for us outside at our request. Generally the food was mediocre, and the service while not bad, was a little uninformed. I had mussels in cream sauce, but wasnt offered any bread (in an Italian restaurant!?). My pasta vongole was served with tagliatelle and not spaghetti, and was a little sour. I suspect the vongole were possibly pickled and had been chopped. I would have preferred the clams to have been served with their shells. I cant quite put my finger on it, but I had a sense of disquiet about a place that should have been welcoming and full of Italian fun and gusto. I also find it strange that a Ristorante like this would close in the afternoon at all! Isnt part of the experience to enjoy and long lazy lunch? This restaurant is situated with a glimpse of the sea and is furnished authentically with a well stocked deli to boot. It should have been packed.
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Menu

Set menu - Menu  - Updated August 2017

Facilities

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

Stores and Markets

This deli is a great place to get imported Italian delicacies at reasonable prices – there are towers of tinned tomatoes, vinegars and oils, a wide range of tomato-based sauces, cheeses and a cold meat selection. Filled pastas include tortellini and ravioli. Antipasti platters include marinated porcini, artichokes, olives and salamis.

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