Last week I took the Other Half for a late birthday trip to Cape Town. As we live in Franschhoek we quite often visit Cape Town, but we always struggle with a few things. First of all it’s the traffic; to get in the city in the morning, to get out in the afternoon, seems to be a bigger problem every day! Second; who’s driving back (regarding drinking). And third: we never want to leave after a nice meal and then say to each other ‘how nice would it be if we could stay a few more days to wander around and explore new places’. So that’s exactly what we did last week. One of the highlights of our getaway was the lunch we had at Locanda.
Villa 47 is a relatively new find on Bree Street. As we all know by now, Bree Street is the new Camps Bay + Kloof Street + V&A Waterfront in one. A street full with restaurants, cocktail bars, hipster coffee places and deli’s; heaven for foodies! And a good location to start a new restaurant, that’s what the owners of Villa 47 must have thought. They develop at the moment 3 unique restaurant environments, and Locanda is the first they opened, on the ground floor. The restaurants at Villa 47 will be a Mediterranean and Asian inspired. Best of both worlds I would say! Both Italian kitchen as oriental food are favourites in our little household. Locanda is definitely Italian, and we loved it!
Although it was packed when we entered the restaurant, around 1.00 pm during lunch hour on Wednesday afternoon, we were greeted and welcomed straight away by the owner (I think?), he checked our reservation and led us smoothly to our table, outside on the deck. That was the first plus. I don’t like it if you arrive somewhere (with reservation) and it takes 5 (or more) minutes before you have a seat. When we sat down a waiter came directly to our table, asked us what we would drink, gave us menus, and soon the drinks arrived together with a brown bag with Ciabatta bread, bread sticks and salted butter. The bread and bread sticks were outstanding, really really good! I forgot to make a photo upfront and therefore the butter is already ‘attacked’ on the photo above. Sorry, I am just so greedy.
It’s personal, but to sit at the deck in a street in a busy city during lunch hour is wonderful, I think. Watching people, cars, listen to city sounds. If you don’t like that and prefer to have a more quiet time, maybe this restaurant isn’t the best place to go to. Inside you don’t have street sounds, but there it was also a bit noisy. As with many restaurants is the case, the acoustic could be better. Not sure if it’s the best place to take slightly deaf grandma with for lunch. This ‘complaint’ is my first and last about Locanda.
The food at Locanda definitely is Italian/Mediterranean inspired. The owners of Villa 47 also own Rialto, importer of Mediterranean and Asian food and ingredients to South Africa. Locanda is mostly Mediterranean inspired, and I believe one or two of the still to open restaurants will be more oriental inspired. The menu at Locanda is huge, lots of choice for everyone. For lunch you’ll find nice Italian style Panini and Piadine (prices between R45 and R85), with Prosciutto, Mozzarella di Bufola, tomato, basil. But also one more French with Brie, rocket and grilled aubergine. Furthermore for lunch and dinner there are starters like Carpaccio di Manzo (R80), Bruschetta with chicken livers and Spanish Chorizo (R90) and Caprese salad (R100), but you can also decide to go for a pasta dish, for example Spaghetti alla Genovese (R85), or their special Villa 47 Tortellini, with Prosciutto Crudo, ragu sauce and Parmesan cheese (R115). Then there are main courses, like Saltimbocca alla Romana (R165), Pesco del Giorna (grilled fish of the day, R150) or Kudu Tagliata (R205). During cocktail hour you can order speciality cheese and cold meat platters for 1-2 people (R125), 2-3 people (R145) or 3-4 people (R265). These platters will contain deli like Parmigiano Reggiani, Brie, Salame Napoli, Parma Ham, Italian Gorgonzola, Mortadella etc. Desserts are priced around R40-70 and Italian oriented sweets like tiramisu, panettone bread & butter pudding or affogato (espresso with ice cream).
We ordered the Rigatoni Vesuvius which is absolutely our type of food: Thick penne pasta with tomato, basil, provolone piccante, extra virgin olive oil, chilli and garlic. Delicious! Also we ordered the daily special: Seared tuna with green peppercorn sauce and grilled vegetables. The fish was extremely fresh, and the cuisson just perfect; raw but not cold from the inside, grilled and crusted from the outside. The green peppercorn sauce was tasty and not as creamy as it looks on the photo. I don’t like sauces with (too much) cream…
For dessert we shared the panettone bread & butter pudding with ice cream and fresh fruit. The pudding was nice, but not exceptional. Definitely tasty but I was not in foodie heaven. Then we both had a macchiato and left the restaurant (after paying the bill) with big smiles. A great new find. Delicious food, friendly and quick service, upmarket interior and a great atmosphere. Can’t wait to be back!
We paid ZAR 487 excluding tip for a (simple but tasty) lunch for two.
More specified: 2x glass of Jordan Sauvignon Blanc (R50 per glass), 1x seared tuna (R165), 1x Rigatoni Vesuvius, a pasta dish (R85), 1x bottle of still water (R32), 1x pannetone bread & butter pudding (R65), 2x espresso macchiato (R20 each)
Locanda at Villa 47 is open 6 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Monday – Friday they open at 6.30am and close late at night. Saturdays they open at 8.30am and close late.
Sundays they are closed. In the near future the owners of Villa 47 will launch two more restaurant environments in the same building as Locanda.
You will find the restaurant(s) on 47 Bree Street. You can easily book a table online.