Mezzaluna means half moon in Italian. It is also the name given to the type of knife which consists of a curved blade with a handle on each end, and is used for chopping herbs, pizzas or pesto.
It’s also the name of Jimmy Fiore’s Trattoria, on Loop Street. Jimmy worked in banking for 25 years, and has been in Cape Town as a restaurateur for the last two and a half.
I’m glad Jimmy’s here, as Mezzaluna is definitely one of the most authentic Italian restaurants you can visit in Cape Town.
It actually feels like an Italian Trattoria when you walk in. Add to that the loud snatches of conversation that fly between Jimmy and some of his colleagues in the kitchen and you are in Rome. (Ok, you might need to close your eyes for a second or two).
I had lunch there, and considering the way Mezzaluna filled up quickly, this is the hot ticket place to be – there are a lot of consulates in the area and they know and like their Italian food.
A salad buffet greets you as you walk in. Tomato and Mozarella, fried zucchini, bean salad and various others were available, as were some hot dishes for those in a hurry – lasagne and meatballs for example.
I sat and ordered.The smoked tuna carpaccio melted in my mouth. Parma ham and melon
For mains all the classic dishes are there – risottos, tagliatelles, raviolis, pastas and soups.The Secondi, or meat based main courses
offer breaded veal, ossobucco, beef fillet, chicken and fish dishes.
I ignored them all, as I had to have a special, that for me, was quintessentially Italian – Sea Urchin Spaghetti. The taste of the sea emerged from this dish. Perfectly al dente pasta in a plain bowl.
Simple, delicious and memorable.
I’ll go back just for this dish.
Mezzaluna Trattoria Italiana
16 Loop Street 021 421 6391
Breakfast and lunch. Dinner from 7 to 10pm, Tuesday to Saturday.
Starters R30-R60. Mains R50 – R70. Secondi (Meat, fish and poultry mains) R90-R110. Desserts R30-R50.