Forti’s Grill & Bar and La Motte Wine Estate making magic!

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Well where should I begin?  Firstly, getting an invite to attend an exclusive wine and food pairing hosted by Forti’s Grill & Bar and La Motte Wine Estate was already tantalising enough that I was fathoming ideas and expectancies even days before the actual event.  Fortunate Mazzone is himself an institution in the Pretoria community and even wider, since his days as the owner of the famed Ritrovo Restaurant.  He made his move to a grandeur establishment nestled in the new Time Square Casino just off Menlyn Maine.  Forti’s Grill & Bar is a cosmopolitan restaurant that is par excel-lance in not just the exquisite cuisine it offers, but in it’s styling, bathrooms and yes, the ever so popular roof top dining experience. 

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I have previously reiterated that I am a total ‘scenery-slut’ when it comes to the perfect view at a restaurant and I suspect looking at THIS restaurant, Fortunato knows that his clientele is somewhat expecting the unordinary experience and off course Fortunato delivers!  Meeting Edmond Terblanche from La Motte Wines, you do gather that La Motte and Forti’s already have a long history in sharing good food and wine, and giving their following a plethora of tastes and memories.  Brilliantly styled wines with food that is ever endeavouring to ones taste buds made it an opulent and vivacious event.  The invite was extended to only a handful of lifestyle journalists, influencers and foodies and they wowed us.

Our gastronomic experience started off with a lovely Prawn ensemble that was oven grilled, with champagne & garlic served on a bed of parmesan rice, decadent and beautiful!  This was accompanied by the La Motte Sauvignon Blanc, with crisp tropical flavours.

Main course offered a lovely crusted marbled beef Fillet prepared to perfection on a a bed of fresh braised vegetables topped with rocket and greens. The La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon  2015 played its role brilliantly with a full bodied presence with it’s oak, plum and smokey notes.  The star here naturally was La Motte’s Pierneef Syrah Viognier that is totally in a league of its own.  A deep flamboyant red wine with a spicy and peppery palate that is truly unique. 

Dessert was a colour explosion and saw planks of sweet delicacies.  From Chocolate Brownie, fudge with a citrus kick and off course panna cotta that was to die for.  A golden honey coloured bottle that classifies (well in my mind that is) as an Apricotty (if there is such a word) mouth watering dessert wine with a perfect balance between sweet and acidity.

How do one end off such a perfect Forti’s Grill & Bar & La Motte onslaught?  Easy, with a sorbet that is pleasing to the eye and palate, oh and don’t forget the flavourful in-house grilled cup of Americano. 

These two players (Forti’s & La Motte) is a mean team and what really stood out, was the complimentary, symbiotic relationship these two have.  The best part of it? That you and me both can experience the fruit of their relationship.  Well done Fortunato and team! Equally well done to Edmond from La Motte Wine Estate for giving us an unforgettable experience.

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PS.  Go to the bathroom when you are there! It’s worth a pic or 6! 🙂

Choco-holic? Check out Chocolat et Café!

Personally I’m not one with a sweet tooth, but appreciate a good sweet or treat here and there.  Here in the capital of South Africa, you have plenty of options to satisfy the sugar craving if and when it hits, you just need to know where to look.  O yes, make sure that they have the good stuff.

The world of Chocolate in Pretoria is not a well known one in my opinion and the question lingers; “Where do Chocoholics go to get their fix?”.  The past weekend, I stumbled upon a little place hidden away like a pirate’s treasure and I was fortunate enough to find it.  Chocolat et Café is literally the sweet spot, located in the new trendy, up and coming Hazelwood Food Village in Pretoria.  Nestled between Culture Club Bar de Tapas and Alfies you go deeper where you are greeted by a refreshing space with Turqoise umbrellas, tables and chairs.  Quaint and pettite.  Obviously, the nosey person I am, a needed to take an up close look inside and was amazed by the amount of decadence this small space held.

Chunky Chocolate Brownies, Caramel Cheese Cake, Carrot Cake, Macaroons, Chocolate Toffees, Truffles that looks exquisite and of course slabs of chocolate in every variety, colour and fragrance (yes, I smelled them) you can get.  This is truly a HAVE TO, to any self proclaimed chocoholic.  Did I mention the coffee in a sugar cone?  Strange, but I have to go back to try it.  A second question popped: “Why don’t we know of all of these little treasures?”.  I arrived at a simple answer… routine dining.  Exploring a bit, hunting the treasure and when someone talks about something special they experienced, listen.  Luckily word of mouth did it’s thing and I walked away happy, over-chocced (is there such a word?) and telling my posé all about this little treasure called Chocolat et Café in Waterkloof, Pretoria. Go! Now!

 

 

 

The Belgian Triple, where Beer isn’t just Beer.

The Belgian Triple is a lovely, hip and vibrant place that grabs your attention from the moment you walk through their doors.  Beer is their thing and their European cuisine to match.  They have a variety of beer, close to 90 imported Beers to be exact.

We were treated to a promising evening and were enticed to 7 tasting courses each paired beautifully with a choice imported beer.  First was Bitterballen & Salt and Pepper Squid, much like Kroketten and the plating was very artistically done.  Followed by Radicchio Salad and a Goats Cheese Salad.  Fresh, tasty, crisp and decadent.  Their Salmon Fillet was perfectly prepared, moist, pink with mashed potatoes and spinach.  The Lucifer (I think it’s flame grilled hence the Lucifer) Beef Brisket was out of this world.  The perfect balance between beef and fat that gives you a good idea that the chef surely knows he’s trade and was mouth-wateringly prepared . Dessert offered Belgian Chocolate Mousse and Fraindise (a syrupy citrus waffle) to end off the evening.

Sometimes (to me) beer is beer.  What made this evening different, was the background given on the origin and evolution of the beer currently on their menu and how well it accompanied their food.  Well done to Geland & Nikolai for hosting us and to you reading this review, make The Belgian Triple a must on your culinary bucket list!  Top marks from me and see you again soon!