Iconic Italian: Giorgio Nava Takes Cape Town by Storm

Post date:


giorgio nava on camera lr-1309939849..jpg
Chef supremo Giorgio Nava

Vegans, avert your eyes – Italian chef supremo Giorgio Nava is building an epicurean empire, mostly based on meat. Oh yes, baby: juicy, tender, bloody, tasty, succulent meat.

All the meat that’s fit to eat, in fact, and you’ll find prime cuts at any one of his many topflight restaurants.

The good news is that carnivores and lovers of fine food can now find outlets of Giorgio’s particular passion for Northern Italian cooking all through the Peninsula, with his signature 95 series (95 Keerom, 95 at Parks) recently branching out to 95 at Morgenster, the wine estate outside Stellenbosch.

Featuring the usual winners like his peerless chocolate fondant, Caprese with burrata, sensational seafood, slow-braised lamb ravioli, pasta galore and top tartares, meat still reigns supreme on most of his menus.

First up, news about 95 at Morgenster:

Expect the very best modern Italian cooking in the Cape Winelands this summer, with 95 At Morgenster reopening for the season from 3 November.

Known for uncompromising quality and perfectly prepared dishes with the utmost respect for quality ingredients, Nava’s native Milanese flair is evident on every plate. It’s delicious, honest food that lets all the ingredients speak for themselves, in true Italian minimalist fashion. Think: classic caprese with creamy burrata mozzarella, hand-cut salmon or steak tartare,  carpaccio, hand-made pasta, fresh line fish, and of course a fine selection of prime meat cuts. The legendary chocolate lava fondant and home-made ice creams are popular puds. 95 At Morgenster’s mixologist has refreshing new summer cocktail surprises from the bar.

While authenticity remains the bedrock of all the dishes at 95 At Morgenster, Nava’s modern Italian touch is evident in the beautiful plating and wide variety of lighter dishes visitors can enjoy in this tranquil setting.

Whether you choose the minimalist interiors adorned with contemporary art, the sun-filled conservatory or dining alfresco overlooking the farm dam, you’ll enjoy one of the finest food and wine experiences in the Cape Winelands.

As of 3 November 2017, 95 At Morgenster is open for lunch and dinner from Tuesdays to Saturdays, and for Sunday lunch. Call 021-204 7048 or email info@95atmorgenster.com to reserve your table.

Setting the table LR

95 at morgenter - table overlooking lake lr1697125388..jpgtables suurounded by nature lr596035934..jpg95 at morgenster exterior shot lr719359072..jpg

95 at Parks:

Giorgio Nava has spread his winning recipe and Milanese flair beyond the Central Business District, with the opening of 95 at Parks in Constantia.

If you desire authentic Italian food made from the best quality produce for an intimate dinner, a light lunch with friends, or a lazy Sunday family lunch, 95 at Parks wants your custom.

The third restaurant in his 95 Collection, 95 at Parks, offers the same classically prepared, northern Italian cooking as the original 95 Keerom which opened in 2003, with a few additional pastas, salads and meat options ideal for light lunches and more substantial dinners.

“We believe 95 at Parks fills a need for authentic Italian cuisine in Constantia and that our extended menu appeals both to our lunchtime clientele, as well as meat lovers, with our wide choice of prime cuts,” says Chef Giorgio. Ever the stylist, he has transformed this period homestead with his signature eclectic style.

Botanical elements from the garden frame the relaxed country house feel, with fresh greens and soft, light hues. Sleek Milanese accents show in uncluttered furnishings and giant 1930’s murals inspired by futurist Fortunato Depero. The bar and sunny conservatory is the ideal spot for pre-dinner Prosecco or Aperol spritz; or to end your meal with espresso and dessert. 95 at Parks also caters for small, intimate functions in the 10-seater private dining room, perfect for celebrating special occasions.

Dining alfresco under the pergola overlooking the beautiful baroque-style potager cottage garden is another 95 at Parks highlight on sunny, wind-free days.

Stand-out salads, unique to 95 at Parks, include ultra-crispy baby calamari; quinoa with pomegranate, avocado and garden-fresh kale; steamed lentils with fresh greens, and a deconstructed caprese with creamy burrata mozzarella. Or opt for steamed mussels in tomato and white wine, home-made pasta with rich ragout, and Asian- inspired grilled tuna rolled in toasted sesame seeds.

Carnivores have a field day choosing from classic Fiorentina T-Bone, fillet, sirloin, Karoo lamb, liver with caramelised onions and pork cutlets on the bone, or hearty slow-cooked beef shortrib and traditional Osso Buco.

The stars on the dessert menu are undoubtedly Chef Giorgio’s signature chocolate fondant with its molten lava of decadent dark chocolate, and a delicate meringue wrapped in luscious Marsala Zabaglione crème.

In addition to the à la carte menu, 95 at Parks offers a 6-course Italian Experience Tasting Menu of show-stopper dishes at R330 per person, as well as a daily chef’s choice of seasonal specialities. Constantia wines take pride of place amongst the fine selection of South African and Italian wines on the carefully curated wine list.

All meals are served with complimentary home-baked breads, olives and seasonal vegetable tempura. The wonderful selection of breads include focaccia, crunchy bread sticks, seeded flatbread and crusty ciabatta. The starter or “mother” dough for the ciabatta originates from a famous bakery in Milan dating back 150 years.

95 at Parks at 114 Constantia Main Road is open for lunch and dinner from Tuesdays to Saturdays and Sunday lunches. Secure parking available on the premises. For bookings call Tel: 021-7610247 or email parks@95keerom.com

salmon tartare lr810827105..jpg

95 at parks deconstructed caprese lr1712828474..jpg

baby calamari salad lr1174170434..jpg

Chocolate fondant at 95 a Morgenster cropped LR

conservatory interior lr785211043..jpg

95 at parks with garden lr2036199173..jpg

95 at parks eclectic interior lr617212315..jpg

Carne on Keerom and Carne on Kloof

Chef-proprietor Giorgio Nava pioneered a new approach to meat with the opening of his Carne SA in Cape Town in 2008. The original Carne still packs in the punters, and its offspring Carne on Kloof was a runaway success from the start.

A champion of letting the meat take pride of place on the plate, Nava is the master of specialist steaks, offering a wide variety of both familiar and more unusual cuts at both Carne branches. Unlike at most steak houses, there are no fancy marinades and sauces here, just the very best quality cuts, brushed with the finest olive oil and garnished simply with a sprig of rosemary and a sliver of garlic, in the true Italian minimalist tradition. Carne serves both grass- and grain-fed beef, sourced from selected farms.

“There is more to the cow than sirloin, rump and fillet,” says Nava. He enthusiastically encourages his patrons to get out of their comfort zones, to try some more adventurous cuts. Milanese to the core, Nava tries to use as much of the animal as he can, elevating lesser-known cuts to exceptional culinary experiences.

“In Italy we get more than 26 different cuts from an animal. Here in South Africa, it is usually not more than 12,” adds Nava. He’s pleased to see interest in new cuts of meat grow as people become more familiar with his offerings.

Nava is particularly fond of prime cuts on the bone as “the meat cooked next to the bone is fantastic.” In addition to the more popular steaks on his à la carte menu, the daily chef’s choice offer unusual and rare cuts.

At Carne, meat lovers will find those delicious cuts that very few other restaurants or steak houses offer – such as the gamey La Lombatella hanger steak (located near the kidneys), flatiron steak (on the shoulder), the legendary 1,2kg La Fiorentina T-bone, and a variety of prime cuts on the bone. These include a 600g Tomahawk sirloin, prime rib, rump and fillet, all cooked on the bone. Both Carne restaurants also offer a cracking 600g free range pork sirloin on the bone.

The Spider steak, considered by some the most succulent and flavourful cut of all, is available exclusively at Carne on Kloof. Also known as oyster steak, this cut originates from the animal’s hip socket and is shaped like a spider’s web. Fine striations of fat are the secret behind its exceptional texture and flavour. Carne on Kloof also offers other exclusive cuts such as the famous Picanha rump, or beef rump cap, considered the best steak of all by the Brazilians with its signature layer of flavourful fat.

Lamb features prominently on the menu, especially at Carne on Kloof where you’ll find lamb cutlet, lamb rib eye and lamb rump as chef’s choice cuts, subject to availability.

All the lamb cuts as well as the beef rump, rib eye and prime cuts on the bone are matured in Carne’s walk-in dry-ageing facility, thus ensuring meat served at its peak.

Besides his excellent meat selection, Nava’s signature dish is home-made ravioli stuffed with slow-braised Karoo lamb, drizzled with sage butter to finish. Richly indulgent roasted marrow bones tempt the true epicurean eater.

While Carne is unashamedly dedicated to meat lovers, the menu does include vegetarian antipasti and pasta dishes for non-meat eaters.

Carne SA in Keerom Street in the Cape Town CBD is open for dinner every evening from Mondays to Saturdays, whist Carne on Kloof is open for lunch and dinner. For bookings, call: 021-424 3460 (Carne SA) or 021-426 5566 (Carne on Kloof) or email: info@carne-sa.com.      

roasted marrow bones close up lr1722388740..jpg

la fiorentina close up cooked lr908074289..jpg

600g crispy pork chop close up lr1508208519..jpg

tomahawk steak cooked lr352545322..jpg

600g crispy pork chop lr544750714..jpg

carne meat selection close up lr895168921..jpg

[td_block_social_counter style="style10 td-social-boxed td-social-colored" facebook="eatdrinkcapetown" youtube="channel/UCm5dqHXUdqC25-M-WYSoKfQ" twitter="lusciousct" custom_title="STAY CONNECTED" block_template_id="td_block_template_9" instagram="eatdrinkcapetown_"]


Error decoding the Instagram API json
Celebrating life with food, wine, friends & happiness! Writer, cook and blogger. Author of four cookbooks. Passionately South African, proudly Capetonian.