A Review of La Masseria Restaurant in Durbanville
Italian food is one of the world’s great cuisines, and I personally could eat it every night of the week. And so I’m always on the look out for great Italian restaurants. La Masseria certainly fits the bill for me, as this is an authentic Italian family-run business. La Masseria means the “farmhouse” in southern Italian, and is the perfect name for this restaurant, which is set in a historical building, the old Evertsdal Celler, and dates back to 1714. The main dining room has a quirky feel, with crooked walls, and a huge hearth that houses a roaring fire in winter. There are old pieces of farm equipment dotted around, such as a huge oak barrel and a plough hanging from the ceiling. These bits of equipment were uncovered during renovations of the 300 year old building in 1980, and now form part of the décor and the identity of the building.
The restaurant is divided into three sections, there is a small bar on the upper level where you can have a drink and catch up on the sport and have a chat with owner Lorenzo Ciman. Downstairs there is the quirky indoor eating space, which opens out onto a large patio, which has a fantastic view out over the Helderberg to the Stellenbosch Mountains. Here you can sit outside and catch the breeze on a warm summer evening, and this is where we were seated.
The food is traditional Italian, and everything is made fresh, with many of the ingredients coming from the La Masseria Farm near Stellenbosch. Miki Ciman has for years made delicious award wining cheeses, which you can have as part of your meal. The family also makes most of its own charcuterie, and you can be sure that the food is of a high standard.
A number of anti-pasti options on the menu include Carpaccio, prosciutto, as well as home-made salami, marinated artichokes, grilled and/or marinated brinjals. If you go on the weekend, you can also have the antipasto buffet and savour a selection of their different foods. We passed on the buffet, tempting as it was, as we liked what we saw on the menu.
For mains there is a good selection of pastas. A good idea might be to get their Tris de Pasta, which is a selection of three of their seasonal pastas, this way you can sample a number of dishes. Options include Tagliatelle carbonara, penne with asparagus and beautiful meat ravioli.
Two of our party settled on the Tagliatelle con Pollo alla Campagnola was delicious, a mixture of chicken, spinach, tomatoes, garlic, herbs and cream that was just right for supper on such a balmy evening. On more meaty matters, there is another trio dish which allows you to sample three of the meat dishes on offer. The Italians are big on veal, and most Italian menus have veal, if you are opposed to eating veal, there are other options on the menu, but La Masseria’s Saltimbocca, veal with ham and sage is truly delicious. There is also succulent lamb chops with a dried fig and balsamic sauce, with just the right amount of sweetness. There are some seafood options, calamari, kingklip and prawns.
There is a useful kiddie’s menu serving, spaghetti and meatballs, as well as chicken strips. This is a good thing, as their portions are generous and even a hungry adult may struggle to get through it all. If you can face dessert after your main, there are many traditional Italian desserts on offer, from a coffee panacotta, to cassata – ice cream with delicious candied fruit, or the decadent espresso sodden, mascarpone layered tiramisu
La Masseria offers delicious Italian food that has become a staple for regular customers. They are well known for their lively New Years Eve parties with live entertainment. The Ciman family are also keen to pass on their knowledge, and offer cheese making, or charcuterie courses (making sausages and ham). These are great courses for those who have an interest in food and want to learn these traditional methods of making cheese and sausages. I’ll certainly be going on one of their courses sometime soon.
Address & Contact Details:
Address: La Masseria can be found on the corner of Bluegum and Huguenot Roads in Durbanville, Cape Town.
Telephone: They can be contacted on +27 (0)21 976-0036.