A double dose of Sicilian chic, in the most homely of ambiences with a seafood menu that’s capable of converting even the most vehement seafood hater – think swordfish carpaccio smothered in olive oil and herbs, tuna belly with white bean, baked sardine and onion pickle, perfectly seared salmon and mozzarella, octopus with angry potatoes – tenderly brushed with paprika and black pepper – mussels poached in white wine with plenty of garlic… and that’s to start. Wash it back with an imported Italian wine that’s rich in flavour and full-bodied to perfection and you’re basically in heaven.
Well, we were at least, with our experience at Pesce Azzurro, Woodstock’s very own Sicilian bistro.
Only the most perfect ingredients for a Mediterranean diet are used: homemade sauces, the freshest fish found in Cape Town, chopped herbs and a varied menu that will tempt you to be a regular. Seafood lovers, eat your hearts out.
We kicked things off in true Sicilian style – with food. Lots of it. Keen to get fully at grips with the menu (prepare for indecision, it’s likely impossible to choose one thing) we opened our palates up to the chef’s choice of shared tapas for 2 (R130) – see paragraph above for full disclosure – before embarking on the Scoglio, complete with prawns, clams, mussels and calamari (R105).
The wine menu offers a selection of both local and important whites and reds, chosen to pair well with the menu. Italian wines are neatly labelled as such so if you’re intent on jet setting to Italy for the night – wine included – you know which to choose. We shared a bottle of the Salier de la Tour Nero D’Avola (R190), but the Prosecco was equally tempting to pair with the flavourful tapas.
At the helm of the kitchen is a true Sicilian who exudes passion in the kitchen, carrying forth his heritage with each slurp, twirl and bite. It’s an experience shared by fellow diners who love good food, good wine and are intent on sharing it with stellar company. Well priced for the quality, use of fresh ingredients and variety you’re getting (as well as the homely atmosphere that wills you to stay longer than intended), it’s an experience rich in authenticity. Delicious, to say the least, and the perfect respite for the daring eater – the eater, like us, who loves their food and ain’t afraid to admit it.
Photography Bernard Myburgh Words Lisa Wallace