Two great Italian spots | Best of Joburg
Two great Italian spots

When we heard James Diack had opened his fourth restaurant, we just knew it would be another culinary gem. In Parktown North, Il Contadino quintessentially represents sidewalk dining at its absolute finest. First of we sampled the fresh, oh-so very fresh caprese salad. Spotted at another table was a goat’s cheese sou é … a little bit of food envy there … but never fear because oh my, did we unashamedly gobble up the succulent coq au vin. The rustic  Italian fare left us licking our lips and hankering for more, more, more … such as the highly recommended wild boar ragu with pappardelle. An overseas guest dining with us commented it was simply the best ragu they had ever sampled! Best part about all James’s restaurants is that almost all the ingredients are freshly sourced from his family’s farm … and the proof is in the (home-made gelato) pudding. 19 4th Ave, Parktown North. Details: 011-900-1363

When Italiano and Americano unite and create something … it’s, well, rather fantastic. Nestled in the iconic Nelson Mandela Square is Septimo … which is Italian for seventh … aptly named, as this family-run business is in its seventh decade of lovingly preparing generations of passed-down recipes for diners to feast on. All the pastas and breads are made fresh daily, and the Italian American-inspired menu is beautifully reminiscent of both international cuisines. Some of the dishes on the menu are those from owner, Paul Lycos’s childhood, which
he describes as ‘Italian American cuisine you’d find in any restaurant in Little Italy in New York or South Street in Philadelphia.’
They can be found on the nostalgia section of the Septimo menu and include chicken or aubergine parmigiana, ricotta lasagna, home-made ravioli with Napoli sauce and spaghetti and meatballs. Top button undone, comfort food heaven. Oh, and you simply have to try the Philly cheese steak, and the wood-fired chicken and, and, and … after all that, if you have any space left (we didn’t) there’s a fabulous array of treats from Patachou Patisserie. Diet be darned! Details: 011-077-7777

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