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Il Leone Mastrantonio

Il Leone Mastrantonio
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Cost
R150 avg main meal
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Italian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
500

Critic's review

Raphaella Frame-Tolmie

Food
Italian food the way it’s meant to be – simple, fresh and tasty – is what you’ll find at this popular Greenpoint spot. Those in the know will aim straight for the carpaccio di pesca (fish carpaccio), especially when tuna is available. It’s tissue paper thin, drizzled with good olive oil and scattered with capers and rocket. If it’s not on the list, the beef alternative is equally tasty. Other antipasti include bruschetta with different toppings, melanzane alla Parmigiana, and simply moreish mussels in white wine with garlic and tomato.
Pastas are divided into ‘corta’ and ‘lunga’ (short and long) so you know which area to look in if you have a preference. Whichever you choose, they are served properly al dente with sauces so good you’ll want to lick the plate. Try the penne gamberetti – baby prawns in a creamy tomato-based sauce with garlic and chilli – or bucatini alla carbonara, which is rich, creamy and delicious. If you’re dining true Italian style, you also might want to order fish or meat, of which there is a fair selection, including classic dishes such as piccata di vitello (lemony veal escalopes).

Drinks
A good combination of local and Italian varietals make up the broad wine list, and if you find the imported wines a little on the pricey side, you’ll easily find something to suit your pocket and taste closer to home.

Service
You’ll receive professional attention. The waiters are all well-rehearsed in the specials of the day as well as anything that might not be available.

Ambiance
Simple interiors allow for a relaxed feel, and warm lighting creates an inviting atmosphere. There are no frills, but it’s sophisticated.

And…
Many of the artworks that adorn the walls are for sale, so if you’re feeling flush after your meal, you can take home anything that catches your eye.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Raphaella Frame-Tolmie

    Unlike our Top 10 – which are selected by a panel of judges – the Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Best Everyday Eateries are voted for by Eat Out readers. To find the winners, we calculated the highest average ratings on Eat Out from 1 October 2014 to 30 September 2015 – that’s a full year of reviews and star ratings. And Il Leone Mastrantonio in Green Point won the award for the best Italian eatery in Cape Town. Eat Out critic Raphaella Frame-Tolmie enjoyed a meal there to find out why Capetonians keep going back for more.

    Food
    Italian food the way it’s meant to be – simple, fresh and tasty – is what you’ll find at this popular Green Point spot. Those in the know will aim straight for the carpaccio di pesca (fish carpaccio), especially when tuna is available. It’s tissue-paper-thin, drizzled with good olive oil and scattered with capers and rocket. If it’s not on the list, the beef alternative is equally tasty. Other antipasti include bruschetta with different toppings, melanzane alla Parmigiana, and simply moreish mussels in white wine with garlic and tomato.

    Pastas are divided into “corta” and “lunga” (short and long. Whichever you choose, they are served properly al dente with sauces so good you’ll want to lick the plate. Try the penne gamberetti (baby prawns in a creamy tomato-based sauce with garlic and chilli) or bucatini alla carbonara, which is rich, creamy and delicious. If you’re dining true Italian style, you also might want to order fish or meat, of which there is a fair selection, including classic dishes such as piccata di vitello (lemony veal escalopes).

    Drinks
    A good combination of local and Italian varietals make up the extensive wine list, and if you find the imported wines a little on the pricey side, you’ll easily find something to suit your pocket and taste closer to home.

    Service
    You’ll receive professional attention. The waiters are all well rehearsed in the specials of the day as well as anything that might not be available.

    Ambience
    The simple interior allows for a relaxed feel, and warm lighting creates an inviting atmosphere. There are no frills, but it’s sophisticated.

    And…
    Many of the artworks that adorn the walls are for sale, so if you’re feeling flush after your meal you can take home anything that catches your eye.

  • Greg Landman

    Food
    While most Italian restaurants worth their salt can serve excellent Parma ham and melon, it takes someone really special to make the most delicious carpaccio di manza possible, so thinly sliced you can see through it, scattered with the most expensive parmesan shards, a few fresh mushroom slices, and rocket – fabulous. It doesn’t hurt that the bread from their ovens is so delicious you have to stop yourself eating too much of it. The many pastas are crowned with the best gnocchi in town – light and fluffy little clouds of delight – either with a rich ragu, arrabiata or four cheese sauce. It's just superb, and so far away from what one can buy in your local grocer, it will be like a whole new experience.

    Fabulous risottos of porcini, seafood, and prawns lead you on to mains of flesh, fish, and fowl, including excellent saltimbocca with delicate veal slices topped with Parma ham and anointed with a rich sage and white wine sauce, and a classic grilled Florentine steak (700g wing rib) topped with herbs and garlic – a carnivore’s delight. The delicate and tangy pannacotta with berry sauce is just the thing to end a satisfying meal like this.

    Drinks
    They offer a spectacular list featuring some great Cape marques, 16 Italian reds, Krug champagne, Veneta grappa and even Bisquit cognac.

    Service
    Impeccable: you can’t see the wheels turning, but they are, very smoothly.

    Ambience 
    While the terrace is popular in summer, the main room and the one upstairs are elegantly casual, with plenty of light coming in from the sash windows, the tables set with crisp white napiery and comfortable wooden chairs, and art works, which are for sale, on the walls.

    And...
    Take some time to walk through their small temperature-controlled cellar to select the wines to enjoy with your meal.

    (July 2014)

  • Food
    The art of good eating is the mantra of the Italian owners. The loyal regulars come to experience classic versions of all the old Italian favourites with authentic sauces and robust flavours. You can’t go wrong with favourites such as bruschetta, big bean broths, carpaccio, melanzane alla parmigiano and prosciutto, or share the lot on an antipasti platter. If you do make it through an almost A-Z of perfect pasta aldente – bucatini, gnocchi, linguine, penne, ravioli, spaghetti and tortellini – you can take your taste buds travelling from Florence to Milan with signature vitello dishes.

    Wine
    Take advantage of the walk-in wine cellar to browse among an excellent selection of local and Italian wines.

    Service
    Friendly, efficient staff assist you to make your way through an extensive menu.

    Ambience
    A convivial buzz of conversation fills this chic double-storey with warm wooden tables, chairs and floors. Seriously good Italian food and company.

    And...
    Enjoy an Italian aperitif or digestif at the bar. (GH, October 2012)
  • Loved by fervent fans, this gem serves reasonably priced but top quality fare, including exceptional gnocchi; tuna carpaccio with caper pesto; linguine with chilli-spiked prawns; and the much-loved seasonal porcini tagliatelle. (Eat Out magazine 2014)

User reviews

  • Excellent service and creative delicious food with a beautiful italian vibe. Highly recommended :)
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  • Perhaps I was simply expecting too much, but then again can one expect too much from a restaurant rated the number One Italian restaurant in Cape Town? I was pleased with the ambiance and the service but left very underwhelmed by the food and felt a sense of regret when swiping my card. For starters my Wife and I shared the Italian meat selection. The quality of the cured meat was good but there was just something missing from the dish... I am not sure what. For mains I had the Tagliata and my Wife had the Lamb Chops. The Sirloin and the Chops were tasty and cooked as ordered, however that was that... both meals were serve with potatoes and veg. The same potatoes and veg served on EVERY main dish. As I said above perhaps I was expecting a bit too much, but I was expecting each dish to have its own character and be individual. Absolutely no boundaries are being pushed, basically what was on offer was Meat, potato and veg. We both had crème brulee... This was soft runny custard topped with a crisp brulee. Although I am the first to enjoy a sneaky bowl of ultra-mel at home I do not expect or enjoy being served its equivalent disguised as a Crème brulee at a "top" Italian restaurant. This restaurant as a lot of potential but currently the food is lazy.
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  • Have waited four days since our very disappointing evening at Il Leone for Daniel, the Owner, to contact us when we complained in an e-mail. We have always told friends that of all the Italian Restaurants in Cape Town, this rates as one of the best. We, regrettably, took friends with us on Thursday 20 August for dinner, after boasting how great it is at Il Leone! No polpette's ( they didn't get veal mince, why didn't the Chef send someone to buy some? ) so settled for very average bruschetta and asked the Waitron and Manager if anything else was out of stock - the reply was no. Imagine our disappointment, when ordering main course of Osso Bucco, only to be told - so sorry none left!! So..... we ordered the next best thing ( which is normally fabulous ) the Ragu. Well, it arrived as a mound of tagliatelle with a little bit of meat sauce! To make matters worse, the young lady "Manager" thought we were just being unreasonable! The bill arrived and it was almost illegible with the printing so faint. In conclusion, there are so many great Italian Restaurants in Cape Town, those will be our recommendations in future and definitely not Il Leone.
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  • One of my all-time favourites. Il Leone never disappoints. I had the Panzotti - pasta pockets stuffed with artichoke and ricotta.
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  • Wonderful dinner last night. Fantastic food, great service and wonderful atmosphere. We will definitely be back soon.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Dinner
  • Dress code
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Wheelchair

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