It was a bleak day when Ragazzi closed its doors in McGregor Village when Clinton Drake had to shut shop after the building was sold. And that, right after Lin Sampson’s scintillating review dropped on the Daily Maverick. Wicked timing but, foodies take heart. Fast forward a year or so and voilà, Ragazzi has been reborn in glam fashion at Beuld in Robertson. The rustic osteria (I still hanker after it) may be no more, but what has landed in its place is a chi-chi dining destination.
The food remains Italian-inspired and it’s very much a fine dining experience. Drake knows this game well (see his backstory below) and his pretty plating is artful and on point, a win for foodies who like to feast first with their eyes, drop a pic on the ‘Gram and start savouring. It’s a place that begs long lunches over great conversation.
The baby beetroot starter (pictured above) with beet jellies and goat’s milk chevin – a dainty tableau of small bites- followed by the herb gnocchi with fried Queen prawns (throwback to Rag McGregor’s ever-satisfying gamberis), on a bed of subtly sweet homemade tomato sauce, and garnished with pickled veg. On the desserts, the winter berry and coconut parfait was a divine finale, a decadent, creamy tower that I tried, and failed, to resist (as did Miss Mary!) This is a menu that champions high quality fresh ingredients and seasonal produce, with dishes changing frequently and a full a la carte re-jig every three months.
For those who aren’t aware, Clinton Drake – Young Chef of the Year in 2002 and Relais & Châteaux Rising Chef in 2008 – has worked in some of the most illustrious kitchens of the world, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Thomas Keller of the French Laundry in Yountville, California and working under the guidance of the late Roger Vergé at Le Moulin de Mougin in France. Previous positions he has held include Head Chef at Singita Lebombo in Kruger and The Cape Colony at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel. https://ragazzirestaurant.co.za/chef/
Roodehoogte Farm, de Hoop Road in Robertson | Open Wed/Thurs 5-9pm | Fri/Sat 12-9pm | Sun 11am – 3pm
email@example.com | 063 262 5558
Grazi mille Chef!