Winter specials are now such a part of the dining out scene that they are becoming something that Capetonians expect as a matter of course.
What was once special is now to be expected, and any restaurant not doing winter specials can count on lean times.
So which ones are really special, and offer really great value?
I can tell you of one that really does it for me, and that’s the Foodbarn’s Winter Special called the Steenberg Menu.
It’s called the Steenberg Menu because it’s a menu paired with wines from the Steenberg Estate.
But here’s the added value bit.
If you book on the Wednesday evening, Chef Franck Dangereux will take you through a full cookery demonstration first. Now for those of you who don’t know him, Franck is a very genial Frenchman from Cannes.
Not only do you get to listen to his great cooking tips, he does it all with a great sense of humour and in a beautiful French accent that makes his food taste even more delicious. Well that’s what I thought.
So not only do you get a great cookery demonstration, you get to eat the food afterwards and pair it with delicious wines from Steenberg.
I tried it last night, and we started with a Yellowtail fish tartare paired with a Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc 2010. Zingy flavours jumped off the plate and paired with the Sauvignon. It really worked.
You could also have had the ratatouille, chevin and basil raviolle, paired with a Semillon.
The first main was Cob on pissaladiere (a south of France speciality consisting of onions, olives, anchovies and garlic) with garlic cream paired with a fairly gutsy Nebbiolo. A red wine with fish? No problem.
Beef fillet in a pepper jus followed, paired with a Merlot.
Dessert consisted of a chocolate slice and Horlicks ice cream.
Franck’s cooking is delicious, and the opportunity to pair with some great Steenberg wines makes this a bit special. And if you can get in for the demonstration class on a Wednesday evening it’s really the cherry on top.
The Foodbarn Steenberg Menu.
3 Courses R165 with 2 glasses of wine.
4 Courses R185 with 3 glasses of wine.
5 Courses R215 with 4 glasses of wine.
Call the Foodbarn on 021 789 1390 to book.
The winter special is available during lunch from Monday to Saturday, and dinner from Wednesday to Saturday.
The Wednesday evening demonstration starts at 6:30pm, and does not cost extra, but you must stay for dinner afterwards.