Il Leone Mastrantonio

6 Reviews
Phone Number 0214210071 Opening Hours Lunch Dinner

Lunch: Tuesday to Sunday 12pm to 3pm

Dinner: Tuesday to Sunday 6.30pm to 10.30pm

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Menu - Il Leone Mastrantonio- menu - Updated May 2018


R150 avg main meal
R60(wine) R100(champagne) only one bottle per table
R150 avg main meal
Groups, Kids
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Accepts credit cards, Booking required, Dinner, Dress code, Eat Out reviewed, Food, Functions, Licensed, Lunch, Parking, Serves food, Takeaways, Wheelchair, WiFi

Location and contact

22 Cobern Street, Corner of Cobern and Prestwich Streets, Green Point, Cape Town

Critic's review

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food

John Maytham

A full house on a rainy Tuesday in winter is powerful evidence that a restaurant must be doing something/ a lot right. And what Il Leone does about as well as any restaurant in Cape Town is serve good size portions of authentic-seeming food at a favourable value-to-price ratio. That’s why so many diners walk out determined to visit again and to tell friends and colleagues about the experience. The menu is large and contains most of what punters would expect from an Italian restaurant. The meat and fish carpaccio starters are generally excellent, as are the bruschetta and fried calamari. The Caprese is notable for a better quality mozzarella than is usually the case in franchised restaurants. There is a lengthy selection of short, long and filled pastas, with the linguini Portofino – prawns, cherry tomatoes, rocket and pine nuts in a white wine, olive oil, garlic and chili sauce – being a particular favourite. There is also a bounteous selection of fish, chicken and meat mains – with the veal dishes exciting particular approval. The tiramisu and crème caramel are both made on the premises and both finish the meal with not-to-sweet aplomb.

The wine list is extensive and interesting. There’s a good selection of Italian wines as well as some South African rarities at fairly elevated prices. The selection offered by the glass is a little uninspired, though.

The staff are all well-trained and very personable, always watchful for the need to top up a glass or clear a plate.

Il Leone is almost always full, and so pulses with energy and conversation. Décor is simple and stylish and the for sale paintings on the walls add visual interest.

There is a good selection of aperitifs and digestifs to enjoy at the bar if you want to prolong the evening.

(August 2017)

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

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User reviews

6 Reviews
    After hearing great things we decided to try Il Leone for my birthday dinner. We booked a table quite early, but when we arrived at 18.30 they were hardly ready for us. We were seated in the upstairs area, where it was freezing cold, and right smack bang next to a 12 seater table. Luckily we arrived and managed to order before the big table arrived, because after that, our waiter lost all interest in us. I was not offered another glass of wine after my first and couldn't even get his attention for long enough to ask. The starters were delicious. After being told my original choice in starter was not available, I had a chicken broth with chicken tortellini. It wasn't much to look at, but was packed with so much flavour. My boyfriend had the carpacio and said it was good too. It took forever for our plates to be cleared, again we were not offered more wine. By this stage the big table next to us was so loud and rowdy we could hardly hold a conversation. We both chose to eat one of the dishes recommend by our waiter, A tomato based Penne, with prawns, chilli and cream. It definetely didn't live up to our expectations. It hardly tasted like tomato, mostly cream, there was definitely NO chilli, and the prawns tasted as if they had had better days. Needless to say neither of us finished our food, and our waiter didn't bother asking if we enjoyed our meal. After about 20 minutes of sitting around with an empty table, plates cleared, no dessert menu and no drinks, I eventually got up to find our waiter and ask for the bill. I will not be returning and I won't be recommending it to anyone.
    I had a lovely dinner here a couple of weeks ago for my birthday. Prior to the evening, Claudia was great to liaise with over email to book our large table and even accommodated my request to swap one main meal on our set menu before the evening. The service was pretty good given our large table size, and the food was all served at a good pace (helped having the set menu I'm sure). The starters were all shared, and were a selection of light and fresh options. For mains, the ragu was as delicious as I'd remembered from my last visit, and everyone else at the table enjoyed their mains also (fillet, fish and ravioli). The only disappointing element of the evening was the dessert - an average tiramisu with slices of fruit displayed without much care on the side of the plate. It felt cheap, especially after such lovely starters and mains. Nonetheless, I'll be back again for that ragu.
    Excellent service and creative delicious food with a beautiful italian vibe. Highly recommended :)
    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.
    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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