GIORGIO NAVA’S RESTAURANTS: Winter warming comfort food at a steal

GIORGIO NAVA’S RESTAURANTS: Winter warming comfort food at a steal

 

Chef-proprietor Giorgio Nava has put together several specials at his restaurants over the next two months.

At 95 Keerom in the CBD, June is dedicated to warm silky pastas, while the Red Wine Reunion takes place at 95 At Parks in Constanta over lunch and dinner. At Carne SA and Carne On Kloof, pork is the star of the show right now, and throughout July, lamb will be showcased.

It’s offers like this that make it possible to dine out every night of the week, but sometimes we just can’t. So Giorgio very kindly had a partner and me come for dinner at Carne SA last week to try out some of the pork and lamb dishes.

Alongside the regular à la carte are a chef’s special pasta and five prime pork cuts. The 600g grilled pork loin cutlet is already a popular dish; Giorgo brought it out and showed us before it was cooked. In Italy, Giorgio told us, pork is eaten far more than it is here, and he favours it for its price as well as the meat itself. “Pork is the perfect meat choice for our special winter menu – it’s cheaper than beef and you can enjoy healthy cuts with less hidden fat,” he says.

We began with crumbed pork fillet before sharing that monster chop, which was juicy and delicious (and the dogs appreciated the bone). The pork belly is heavenly as well, with plenty of crispy fat. Other grilled cuts – served simply with a brushing of olive oil and a hint of fresh rosemary, because you really don’t need anything else to kill the delicate flavour of the meat – include rack, neck and shank. The pasta dish is penne al pomodoro with pork ribs.

In July, I recommend you try the lamb ribeye and lamb rump – both excellent – with a bit of salsa verde on the side. Grilled neck, and a lamb ragu pasta will be on the menu as well. By then we should be tightly in the grip of winter, and what could be better than a rich and wholesome Karoo lamb shank as a comfort food?

Over at 95 Keerom, which has been serving authentic Italian dishes that have stood the test of time for the past 15 years, the 95 Pasta Ripiena offering is available alongside the à la carte. The restaurant is old school Italian fine dining – simple, elegant, understated…and of the highest quality. Here is everything good we have come to associate with Italy.

Pasta already has a place on the menu, but during June Giorgio is presenting his pasta favourites. That ravioli is legendary; now add flavourful parcels of agnolotti, delicate tortellini morsels, richly layered lasagne and hearty cannelloni.

With a variety of vegetable, cheese and meat fillings, and pasta sauces including classic burro e salvia (sage butter), traditional tomato sugo and hearty meat ragu – you’ll want to try them all as you throwback to the time Tim Noakes advocated carbo loading.

And then there is another winter classic in the spotlight at 95 At Parks: red wine. During June, guests having lunch or dinner will be able to enjoy a complimentary glass of Roodeberg with their hearty Italian meal.

* 95 At Parks is at 114 Constantia Main Road and open for lunch and dinner Mondays to Saturdays, with secure parking on the premises. For bookings, call 0217610247 or email parks@95keerom.com.

Carne SA in Keerom Street in the Cape Town CBD is open for dinner Mondays to Saturdays; Carne On Kloof is open for lunch and dinner Mondays to Saturdays. For bookings, call 021 424 3460 (Carne SA), or 021 426 5566 (Carne on Kloof); or email info@carne-sa.com.

95 Keerom is at 95 Keerom Street in the Cape Town CBD and is open for dinner Mondays to Saturdays, and Fridays for lunch. For bookings, call 021 422 0765 or email info@95keerom.com.

More Mother City Fine Dining – By Bianca Coleman