There are days when I wake up thinking ‘la dolce vita’. Yesterday was one of those days because I was heading to Franschhoek to Haute Cabriere to try out their Table d’Haute. What an amazing day!
Upon arrival, we were welcomed by a glass of Ratifia, an aperitif used to signify the beginning of relations. Quite fitting, I must add. Anyhoo, the menu is 4 courses for R150, a steal by any stretch of the imagination with an extra hundy (R100) for the wine pairing, which I highly recommend. It all starts with a creamy parsnip soup that is bursting with cumin seed and topped with thinly sliced dried apple. Quite delicious and a beautiful colour.
The pumpkin risotto with blue cheese infused cream and toasted pumpkin seeds was an extra – they knew I would do questionable things for risotto and tested my wiles (that shneaky @Alton_vb). We then moved on to a light, creamy pesto with fettucini, courgette rounds, green beans and thee most exquisite cherry tomatoes that had been blanched and peeled so that the skin furled as they were roasted. It was a little cherry tomato bomb in your face-mouth. Damn.
My love for Pinot Noir runs deep – it’s a varietal that doesn’t try too hard, it just is. It’s also the colour of the strawberry juice left in the bowl after the berries have been dusted with sugar, doused with rosewater and allowed to bleed/weep ( use which ever word you find less macabre). The beef with garlic mash and roasted baby veg was served with the pinot noir and Alton, also a fan of this blushing beauty, took us down to the cellar. There’s something quite romantic about wine laying still. Resting. Poised.
Once back at the surface, the prune pudding with tarragon ice cream and butter sauce arrived with some brandy. A truly lovely day. Cannot wait to go back for the Saturday morning sabrage class with Achim von Arnim, the cellar master and founder of the vineyard who is rumored to be quite the wily sort. My favourite.