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Hearty Italian fare served in generous portions have been the hallmarks of Giovanni Maiorana’s kitchen since the restaurant first opened in 1981. Located inside Wonderboom Airport, the eatery is divided into a fine dining section, an informal pizzeria and terrace on the airport side, and a lounge area.
The fine dining menu balances traditional favourites with innovative low-carb dishes. To kick things off, choose from Italian meats and cheeses, various focaccia options, calamari heads or prawn croquettes. There’s also springbok carpaccio and a zucchini carpaccio – finely sliced and topped with roasted pine nuts and parmesan shavings. The bruschetta anchovies, served with roasted tomatoes, olives and capers, is pleasingly crunchy.
The mains menu comprises a wide selection of pastas, including four zucchini pasta options. Served in huge portions, the penne lamb ragù is a masterful combo of al dente pasta and pulled lamb. Besides filetto saltimbocca, lamb shank and osso bucco, seafood and poultry options also abound.
The full list of pizzas appears in the casual dining menu – designed as a 92-page magazine titled VSG, and surprisingly entertaining to flip through. The signature pizza della casa has ham, mushrooms, olives, chilli, garlic, peppers and onions on an exquisitely thin and crispy base.
On the sweet front, the crème brûlée remains a crowd-pleaser. The ice cream options are seductive – the ‘Pick-me-up and I won’t disappoint you’, with its combination of tiramisu ice cream, espresso and crunchy finger biscuits, lives up to its name.
The list of prosecco, MCCs and French champagne features bubblies fit for any celebration. On the vino side of things, expect a well-curated offering of Italian wines and South African options. There’s also a fine selection of grappa, cognac, whisky and other spirits.
Efficient, friendly and knowledgeable.
An authentic, family-run establishment. The walls have been given the faux-Tuscan treatment, but there’s a dignified sincerity and elegance about it all.
Honest-to-goodness Italian cuisine.
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