Lambrusco’s Italian Dining
5 & 6 Fir Drive Centre, Corner Fir
Drive and Weltrevreden, Northcliff,
Tel: 011 431 0591
Food: ★★★★
Service: ★★★

WHILE using a backroad to get home in peak-hour traffic, I spotted this Italian eatery. Given my weakness for pasta and pizza, my curiosity got the better of me. So, I took a friend to the restaurant to keep my greediness in check.

We were somewhat naughty, rocking up without a reservation.

Thankfully, we were accommodated with a table close to the wood-fired pizza oven. Given the recent cold snap, I wasn’t complaining.
Despite being hidden in the corner of a centre in Northcliff, it enjoys the patronage of regulars, who get treated to the personal touch from owner Rafael. 

There is an unmistakable cosiness about the restaurant, which is decked in Italian regalia and various flags at the bar area.

Before ordering, I quickly scrolled through the menu, which, while not extensive, is substantial enough. The starter menu included the traditional focaccia bread, and, one of my personal favourites, the garlic and mozzarella option.
Other options included a soup of the day with toasted ciabatta or bruschetta with various toppings, such as carpaccio, halloumi and Cozze Lambrusco (mussels).

My partner and I decided to share the stuffed calamari, which was cooked to perfection with a beautiful chargrilled after-taste. It also had the yummiest stuffing of rice and sundried tomato, and came with a creamy lemon butter sauce. It had a beautiful zestiness to it. If I could have licked the plate, I would have but decorum had to prevail.

There are five insalata options, catering for those on a rabbit diet to those wanting a meaty texture. And there are healthy lunch only options too.

Instead of going for a pasta option, which adequately caters for vegetarians and carnivores, I chose the Casalinga pizza topped with
chouriço, sun-dried tomato, chilli and feta. It’s a beautiful thin-crust pizza with the perfect spicy aftertaste I love. Of course, I sprinkled some garlic and Parmesan over it. To the snobs, who are gasping, deal with it. When it comes to food, I don’t believe we should be sticklers for etiquette at such a relaxed eatery.

My partner opted for a classic fillet, which is served on a bed of mash, rocket and caramelised onions. The meat was succulent and
delicious. However, the sweetness of the sauce on the plate was a bit overpowering. There are chicken, veal and seafood options too.

Now for my other favourite part of the meal – dessert. I passed on the home-made chocolate brownie, medley of sorbet and Italian kisses to share the home-made cassata, a decadent, creamy Italian layered ice-cream dessert. Delizioso!