Casareccio Cucina Italiana, Fish Hoek, Cape Town: Restaurant Review


Casareccio Cucina Italiana
Shop 1 Central Place
near cnr. Central & Main Roads
Fish Hoek, Cape Town
| Map

Category: Casual
Fare: Pastas, Pizzas, Panini
Price range: Low-to-Medium
Open for: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Coffee
Under review: Dinner
SA Blog recommends? It’s Perfectly Decent Fare

Snippet

Our table materialized in no time – it being quite small, this was only a modest feat of conjuring – and we mulled over the menu’s many-syllabled dishes while trying not to knock knees. The Casareccio menu opens upon the standard low-rent Italian culinary vista: a variety of pastas, a variety of pizzas, and a panini if you must.

(See full review below.)

This outing cost: R70 per person
Including tip? Yes
Including wine? Yes
Food score (out of 10): 6 or 7
Service score (out of 10): 7
Reservations? Accepted
Closed? Never

Contact Information
Tel: +27 (0) 21 782 6325, Fax: N/A

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Review
The classic neighborhood Italian restaurant is alive and well in South Africa, and on a recent cold and windy night, a party of five went off in search of one of the genre’s more legendary incarnations, located somewhere in Cape Town’s lower east side, a.k.a. Fish Hoek.

Luck was with us: we found Casareccio with our first attempt, up a side street just off Fish Hoek’s Main Road. But while the brightly-lit windows invited visions of steaming spaghetti soon to be sucked, we learned to our dismay that all the tables were full!

No matter, the waitstaff would find space for us – near the fridge with the cold beer and shrink-wrapped desserts, as it turned out – while we waited at the somewhat grandiosely named bar. (Seating for three.) We ordered a bottle of Pongracz – one of the better Cape sparkling wines – and toasted the happy coincidences that had brought us together for the evening.

Our table materialized in no time – it being quite small, this was only a modest feat of conjuring – and we mulled over the many-syllabled dishes while trying not to knock knees. The Casareccio menu opens upon the standard low-rent Italian culinary vista: a variety of pastas, a variety of pizzas, and a panini if you must.

We ordered, we ate, we pronounced, as follows.

  • Gus (spaghetti alla puttanseca, R40): “Best ever”.
  • Nikki (eggplant parmesan, R38): “Good – but not my favorite dish.” (It was a case of wheat intolerance made her order it.)
  • Anne (spaghetti al pomodoro – Napoli, R25): “Excellent.”
  • Lovely Assistant (vegetarian pizza, R38): “Good but too cheesy.”
  • Your Correspondent (penne alla contadina, R35): “Why am I cursed?” This colorless dish appeared inedible at first – a mere pile of boiled penne. It tasted better than it looked, but was soaked in butter, a fact which my stomach objected to in almost the strongest terms.

After the Pongracz had run out, I tried to abet my battling digestive processes with a glass of house red – Indaba’s Shiraz – which did, in fact, help quell matters in my personal lower east side. We skipped the desserts – having gazed at them all night, we somehow didn’t feel it was right to disturb their cling-wrapped peace – and re-entered the night in a state of four-fifths happiness.

If our journey to Casareccio contains a lesson, it’s this: almost no other sit-down restaurant Cape Town has such reasonable prices. Oh yes, and this – don’t order anything with the word “Contadina” in it!

Wine: Pongracz Sparkling & Indaba Shiraz
Wine score (out of 5): 3.5 for Pongracz; 3 for Indaba

Also reviewed in: Rossouw’s Restaurants