Ilse van der Merwe
The Vine Bistro delivers on what they’re known for: classic French-inspired bistro fare. With a relatively small menu, ranging from seasonally changing starters like beef brisket consommé, panfried sweetbreads or duck & pistachio galantine, or mains like red stumpnose with a bouillabaisse sauce or braised pork cheeks, there’s no question that they’re owned by a true French madame (May de Lencquesaing).
Although the a la carte menu is not considered cheap, look out for the Winter menu at a very reasonably priced R245 for three courses, with choices between 2 starters, 2 mains and 2 desserts. The pork and pistachio sausage salad is delightfully served with fresh, well-dressed baby greens, and the mains of rabbit & mushroom casserole with polenta will leave you licking the plate.
For dessert, allow an extra 20 minutes for the freshly made apple tarte tatin with calvados and apple sorbet, or try the chocolate and sesame nougat glacé with poached fig and dark chocolate sauce. Everything on the dessert menu looks delectable, and it might be a good idea to return for tasting your way through it.
Ask the waiter for kids options (not on the menu) - they serve delicious child friendly items like grilled fish and potatoes. On Sundays there’s a weekly changing set menu at R350/person or R170/kids under 12 - a great option for treating the whole family. Get the upcoming menu on their website.
Glenelly has a large range of premium wines that are all available on their vast wine list. Apart from that, you’ll be able to find a smaller selection of wines from other local estates as well as a few hand picked imported French items. For those who prefer to have something else, there are also beers, gin, whiskey etc.
Service is professional, welcoming and very friendly.
Glenelly is a breathtaking, pristine estate. The views of Stellenbosch town and surrounding mountains from the hill where the tasting room and restaurant are situated are fantastic. During warmer months, book a table on the deck overlooking the garden (at night the garden is strategically lit and creates wonderful ambiance), or opt for a spot next to the modern fireplace indoors. Decor is contemporary and cool with a tough of French elegance, as seen in the beautiful modern ceramic crockery and vintage French-style cutlery. Wooden accents and leather couches completes the casually luxurious look.
Best for a gathering with friends and family around a large table, celebrating the magic of French simplicity matched perfectly with some of the finest wines made in Stellenbosch.
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