Burrata, Cape Town’s favourite modern Italian restaurant, is celebrating its 4th birthday with the introduction of a mouth-watering new menu complemented by an unrivalled wine list.
Located in the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Burrata was the first restaurant opened by restaurateurs Neil Grant and Barry Engelbrecht, before Bocca in Bree Street and Open Door at Constantia Uitsig.
Burrata specialises in contemporary Italian cuisine with a clever twist, courtesy of celebrated Executive Chef Annemarie Robertson (nee Steenkamp). Given the trio’s talents, it is not surprising that Burrata swept the boards as Eat Out Best Italian Restaurant in 2013.
Burrata has introduced a brand-new menu with innovative new dishes to beguile diners. Uniquely, there’s an entire Risotto section with four dishes featuring three different varieties of rice. The Carnaroli rice, crayfish tail with lemongrass bisque and sesame seeds risotto (R142) is set to be a future classic, alongside an Arborio rice risotto with preserved lemon and bone marrow (R104).
The exciting Antipasti section features different arancini daily, served with mustard aioli (R52) as well as other dishes that include Fried cauliflower pops with basil pesto (R37), Pulled confit duck leg with grape chutney (R53), Poached figs (R18) and charcuterie classics that include Neil Jewell’s Squashed salami (R57) and Richard Bosman Prosciutto (R52). Of course, authentic Burrata cheese (R85) is on the menu, in addition to a selection of four different salads every day, ranging from an Artichoke with ricotta, pomegranate and toasted pine nut salad (R68) to Endive salad with nectarines, hazelnuts and parsley (R65). Pasta favourites include Bucatini nero with poached octopus and gremolata (R128) and Rigatoni with braised springbok shank, brown onions and kale (R130), to name a few.
Reflecting Barry Engelbrecht’s pizza passion, there is a selection of authentic, Neapolitan-style pizzas, with flour and tomatoes imported exclusively from Italy, then perfectly baked at up to 480℃in less than 90 second in a state-of-the-art, hand-crafted oven imported from Naples. Barry is South Africa’s only certified APN Pizzaiolo. The Associazione Pizzaioli Napoletani (APN), has proud members from around the world and has succeeded in having Neapolitan pizza recognised and protected by the European Union. With a choice between Rosso and Bianco (no tomato base) pizza, new Burrata menu options include the delicious Piccante with roasted apple, chipotle, pulled pork belly and provolone (R102), the Salsiccia with smoked mozzarella, chilli fennel sausage, caramelised onion and spinach (R102), and the Delre with mozzarella, truffle spread, mushroom and prosciutto (R126).
To end off a perfect Italian feast, Burrata diners may choose mouth-watering desserts from the Dolci menu. Gianduja - a finely ground smooth mixture of chocolate and nut butter - panna cotta with fresh figs and fig gelato (R58), or Dolce pizza topped with marmalade, caccio ricotta, toasted walnuts and mascarpone (R59) will delight the tastebuds.
Neil Grant has meticulously created Burrata’s excellent wine list. Very few ‘cool and trendy’ restaurants pay as much attention to its wine selection as Burrata does. A dedicated oenophile, Neil worked as a sommelier internationally before chairing the SA Sommeliers Association in South Africa. He has participated on the judging panels for the Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Awards, WOSA Sommelier World Cup, and the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs World Junior Sommelier Cup. He says: ‘I believe a wine list is a living thing! Therefore, each wine list needs to have a sense of synergy with the various elements a restaurant has to offer. To run a successful restaurant, you have to have a great understanding of all the different elements that make it a success. We look at our wine lists every day, as we do with our food offerings, to see how we can improve.’
Neil adds that at Burrata, mutual respect and attention is paid to food and wine. ‘You will notice that our wine list does not contain any descriptive notes. No descriptions are necessary as Spencer Fondaumiere, our restaurant manager and in-house sommelier and his staff have undergone extensive training and have excellent knowledge of the wines available – including the Sommelier’s Selections, which are available by the glass. They can tell you as much about the Italian San Leo Cuvée Brut Prosecco (R75 per glass) as they can the French Château Lagrézette Malbec (R67 per glass)’, he says.
Spencer Fondaumiere continues to say that offering wine by the glass provides Burrata with theopportunity to showcase some interesting and out of the ordinary wines. ‘Diners are encouraged to try a wine that ordinarily, they may not be brave enough to order a whole bottle of! The Dirty Julie Verdhelo (R45 per glass) is a good example as an aromatic Portuguese varietal with limited plantings in this country. Though critical as a blending grape in Bordeaux, a straight Cabernet Franc is also not very common in South Africa, and therefore our Hannay Cabernet Franc is a great find by the glass (R59). In terms of older wines, it is generally difficult to find well cellared, reasonably priced bottles of older wine in South African restaurants, and it is virtually impossible to find them by the glass, so we are pleased to offer, for example, a 10-year old Cabernet Sauvignon by Journeys End at R65 per glass.’
Burrata also goes the extra mile with more popular varietals, including their house Chardonnay, which is made exclusively for the restaurant by Richard Kershaw in Elgin (R56 per glass), highlighting a talented winemaker and a region synonymous for exceptional examples of the varietal. Presented in cultivars and regions, the Burrata wine list also includes wines in magnum size, such as Yardstick’s Muscat de Frontignan 2015 Raised by Wolves (R950).
Another special feature of the Burrata wine list is the wide range of Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Barbera and other Italian cultivars on offer, to complete the perfect marriage of Italian food and wine.