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Osteria Tarantino

Osteria Tarantino
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Cost
R240 average main meal (includes starter, main and desert)
Ambience
Family friendly, Groups, Special occasions
Food
Italian
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R55 per bottle

Critic's review

Zola Nene

Food
Dad, Enrico, cooks each dish himself in the kitchen, ensuring that it has his Italian touch. The menu has a selection of pastas to choose from. The most popular is the Four P's Pasta which is a delicious combination of al dente homemade pappardelle pasta coated in a rich tomato sauce along with pecorino, prosciutto and porcini; it’s easy to see why this is the most popular pasta dish on the menu, the balance of salty, savory and sweet notes in the pasta are a flavour sensation.

If you're not into tomato based pasta sauces, the Penne salsiccia is a great one to try. Made with dry penne pasta, it is more robust and richer due to the cream based sauce. This delicious pasta starts with Italian fennel sausage which is sautéed with mushrooms, garlic and chilli, cream is then added to give the dish a decadent richness, as if that wasn't enough, the pasta is topped off with a generous sprinkling of Pecorino cheese.

For dessert, a must have is the tiramisu...here's a tip, order it as soon as you sit down at your table because they only make a certain amount and it sells out fast! The tiramisu is lovely and light with a lovely coffee flavour and subtle hint of chocolate. My personal favorite dessert has to be the cannoli, dare I say it...the BEST cannoli I've ever had! The shell is wonderfully crisp and crumbles effortlessly as you bite into it. Yielding to that perfect crunchy shell is a sweet citrus perfumed creamy ricotta filling, a truly sublime dessert. They come served two per portion, but trust me, you won't want to share!

Drinks
A selection of local wines is available on the menu, some also served by the glass. Soft drinks, teas and coffees are also available.

Service
As soon as you walk into the restaurant, you are greeted with a friendly smile by the friendly front of house staff and shown to your seat. They then explain any specials available and can make great suggestions according to what you may be in the mood for. When the food comes out, patriarch, Enrico comes to make sure that your food is to your satisfaction. I love this personal touch added to the service.

Ambiance
The restaurant has a rustic, quaint feeling about it; it feels almost like you've walked into someone's home. The wooden tables look well used and the menus are written by hand on chalk boards. The dining space is very small, seating no more than about 25 pax at a time. For this reason, I suggest you make a booking before your visit to assure yourself a table.

Best For
A quaint Italian restaurant run by a first generation Italian father along with his sons, ideal for a cosy lunch or intimate dinner.

(2018)

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

  • Ambience
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  • Food
  • Nikita Buxton

    Food

    The menus, chalked onto blackboards, are explained to you in mouth-watering detail. Start things off with Tuscan cigars or the famed burrata el parma. The burrata is luxuriously creamy and arrives on a bed of rocket with sun-dried and fresh tomatoes, olives, and wafer-thin parma ham – it's all so delicious, you’ll be fighting over the last bite. A side of soft bread acts as the perfect vessel.

    For mains, there are hearty dishes like rich meatballs or creamy gnocchi gorgonzola, but it’s the fresh, homemade pasta we’re here for. The signature ‘4 Ps’ pasta comes with silky pappardelle noodles in a sauce of porcini mushrooms, pancetta, parmesan cheese and a rich tomato base made with veal mince. It’s simply sublime, and packs a punch of robust Italian flavours. Vegetarians are also taken care of, with the kitchen happily making changes to this dish by replacing the meat with pickled zucchini and olives. Alternatively, go for the pillowy, umami-rich spinach-and-ricotta ravioli. The simple-sounding dish is anything but: The combination of minced truffles and olive oil creates a magically creamy sauce that leaves you wanting to lick the pan.

    On the desserts front, the menu might feature classic tiramisu or cassata, but it’s the cannoli that deserves a special mention. The freshly made tunnel pastries are stuffed with a milk tart-like ricotta filling, which is paired magnificently with a cup of Illy coffee. If you want something a little smaller, the ice cream-stuffed cornetti are moreish morsels. The bites are described to us as “the best part of a Cornetto” (the little chocolate-coated tip of the cone), and serve as a perfect end to the meal.

    Drinks

    The concise blackboard wine list features some good pasta-pairing options, like local Nativo White Blend or Morgenster Merlot. Italian varietals also make an appearance, with rustic Chianti and dry Prosecco. Grappa, limoncello and Amaretto are also available.

    Service

    The service here is friendly and faultless. The tiny team keeps things running smoothly in a warm and accommodating manner.

    Ambience

    The minute space is cosy and comfortable with timber walls, blackboard menus and warm lighting. There’s also a small outside area, which is popular for those lazy lunches or early summer suppers.

    And…

    There’s a lovely central fireplace for chilly evenings.

    • Ambience
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    • Food

User reviews

  • We have been visiting Osterio Tarantino since it first opened and have always had excellent food and service. However last week was an exception. The three is us arrived at 6.30 and initially received the normal wonderful welcome but once other diners arrived we were virtually ignored. We even had to request a glass of wine as none was offered. We were told of the starter and after some consideration decided we would like one to share and one of the waiters took our order and also the order for our main courses. We did not receive our starter and my main course was not what I ordered delicious though it was. To top it all when our hostess received the bill she had been charged fo the starter. I know we will go back despite all that and hope our next visit will be as it has always been.
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  • if there was a sixth button I would have given 6 starts. exceptional experience. food was absolutely delicious. a must visit if you love real authentic italian. love
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Menu

Set menu - Menu not currently available

Facilities

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

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