Like many wine estates in Stellenbosch, the 152ha Bellevue Estate has a heritage which dates back to 1701, with an original Cape Dutch homestead built in 1803 and a 155-year-old signal cannon on the property.
The restaurant and tasting room, however, have been renovated and reopened at the end of last year. With innate old world charm and elegance combined with modern finishes, the spacious areas flow out onto deep veranda and lawns, providing comfort as well as contemporary appeal.
With an adjoining play area for children, this is a great place for a long, leisurely lunch. What makes Bellevue’s restaurant even more attractive is the soft line between it and the tasting room; its wines are offered with your meal at cellar door prices – by the glass for as little as R20, or bottle – and a pizza and wine platter combines two specialities of the house.
While a variety of simple wine tastings from the extensive range are available, the pizza and wine pairing is found on the restaurant menu. With a traditional wood-fire oven, pizzas named after their suitable wine varietals are a main feature so it makes sense to put them together and have them – like I did – as a starter.
From left to right the wines are unwooded Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinotage (with which Bellevue has a long and illustrious history) and Shiraz. The Chard is less buttery and more crisp and pairs with Coronation chicken, green olives, litchi, hazelnuts and parmesan on the pizza.
In turn, the Sauvignon Blanc is fruity, and pairs with prosciutto, asparagus, butternut, feta, pumpkin seeds and crème fraiche; the Pinotage has that typical banana characteristic and is fairly light. It goes well with salami, mushrooms, mozzarella, sundried tomato, rocket, and hummus. The fourth pairing is soft, easy-drinking smoky Shiraz with fig preserve, biltong, feta, blue cheese, sweet chilli and rocket.
Not only does this platter give you a good example of the pizzas, but it’s an introduction to the wines you can order with your main course. It’s also perfect for people who can’t make up their minds what to have.
My friend across the table chose two starters – olive, feta and sundried tomato quiche with a side salad and herb oil; and spicy chicken wings with skinny fries – and no main course. I fed my craving with deliciously sticky pork belly ribs, with a salad and skinny fries on the side. They were fantastic.
Other menu items include salads, cheese and charcuterie platters for one or two, fish and chips, a 200g beef burger, pasta, chicken and sirloin steak.
There is a special selection for children, and all desserts are served with a complimentary cup of Nespresso Caramel or Vanilla coffee.
* Bellevue is off Bottelary Road in Stellenbosch. The tasting room is open Mondays to Saturdays, 9am until 5pm, and the restaurant Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9am to 5pm (7pm on Fridays).
A Valentine’s food and wine pairing will be held on February 14 at 7pm, R550 a person. Call 021 865 2054, send an email to email@example.com, or visit to bellevue.co.za for more information, or to book.
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