The Balleta's do what they love which is evident in the consistently outstanding homemade Italian fare.
It's no wonder Sedgefield residents consider this restaurant their own treasure. This is a true Italian trattoria run with hands on passion by Steve and Leah Balleta. Steve mans the pizza oven in the center of the restaurant, roasting succulent pork loin with crackling or lamb shank served with the most divinely crisp and light potatoes. Fresh fish, also roasted in the oven, when available is picked up from Mussel Bay on the day and cooked perfectly in the pizza oven. Pasta is made on the premises and pizza, individually sized, is wonderfully crisp. A delight to share is the vegetable platter marinated in a zesty vinaigrette with cheeses and olives. Specials regularly offered are lively fresh seafood paella, and crumbled pork with creamy mushroom sauce. Regulars pace themselves to save room for the dreamy desserts made by Leah, like espresso cake with almond meringue and Frangelico cream.
The wine list is small and offers wines by the glass or carafe. The South African reds stand up well to the robust food.
Know that this is a very popular restaurant and booking is required, even so two servers work the entire restaurant and every dish is made to order so relax, drink some wine and order a starter. The servers are efficient, welcoming, and happy to explain anything you ask about the food and wine. Leah usually makes an appearance to say hello and make sure everyone is happy.
The pizza oven is central to the cozy interior with maps of Italy painted on the walls and candles glowing on tables. Not fancy in the least but upbeat and cheery-happy people enjoying wonderful food. The outside sidewalk is covered with an awning and offers cool and comfortable summer dining.
Earthy, zesty Italian home cooking at its best.
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Crap service and person we spoke to on the phone was so rude. They definitely won't see me again.
This restaurant is truly one of a kind. The aromas as you walk in is like nothing I have ever experienced world wide. Leah and Steve pour their hearts and souls into each and every dish. Each dish hand made and prepared to perfection, that similar to a 5 Michelin star restaurant in France or Italy. Best pizzas this side of Roma and the seafood pasta will blow your mind. I will be back soon and so should you....
Third time I've been there and everytime I arrive and request a table the waiter sighs as if they too busy to cater for more people.
As we sat down last night we ordered a garlic focaccia in the meantime because we knew there would be the usual wait for food. A few minutes later a table of 4 walks in. They receive their full main course 30min later before we even get our focaccia. Why the preference? Waiter had some excuse I didn't pay attention to. There was a sigh when we ordered tap water and didn't want still water. It should be standard to put a jug of water on the table as they do in Italy and many other parts of the world. After an hour wait and long time empty water glasses the focaccia arrives. Another unacceptable hour later for our main course. Pizza sizes had decreased since the last time I was there and the brinjal pasta was below par for an Italian restaurant. Eyes were rolling when I requested chili and garlic and I was charged R10 for each without being informed about this.
In my opinion it is no excuse that there is over an hour wait time for a starter and over 2 hours to receive mains. It is a rip-off that you charging R10 for chili and garlic side and not informing guests.
I am local and I will never visit your restaurant again nor will I advise anyone. All three times I have visited I feel I am treated as if you don't need my business.
I hope this review makes you realize that you never know who you going to be serving and who will be publicly rating your restaurant.
Good luck and all the best for the future. I'm sure you will do fine without my business anyway.
World Class food right on my doorstep. It really is the best food I have ever tasted.
Always can't wait to go back.
This landmark ristorante typifies Sedgefield Slowtown values. Proper artisinal food, carefully prepared and proudly served. You get consistently good (actually superb) meals every time.
Chef owners both so modest and devoted.
Take a bow, Sedgefield is proud of you!