Situated on the corner of bustling Loop Street, Giulio’s Café has been one of our go-to hotspots for pre-work breakfasts and stylish luncheons since it opened in 2015. And, since it became a dinner spot, with live jazz, candle-lit tables and warm Italian hospitality, we have even more reason to visit.
Effervescent, passionate and always-smiling chef-owner Giulio Loreggian lights up the cosy interior and, together with his lovely team, serves a range of light, modern-Italian dishes to city slickers (and even vegans!) with discerning palates.
Every Thursday and Friday evening in winter, diners can tuck into any two courses off the delicious dinner menu (including starters of arancini, calamari and antipasti; mains of lamb ragu pappardelle, gnocchi, veal and fish; and desserts of gelato, tiramisu and a dessert of the week) and a glass of wine each, for a mere R250.
There’s hardly a better way to spend a Thursday or Friday evening than listening to the smooth sounds of live jazz as you enjoy a glass (or three) of vino and a delicios feast in what feels like Giulio’s home. So passionate is he about making Italian food accessible to all, Giulio assures that the evening menu will be seeing various vegan additions in time for spring. Buon appetito!
Good to know The atmosphere is enhanced by live music every Thursday and Friday evening, courtesy of Italian musician Francesca Biancoli and pop guitarist Jeremy Du Plessis.
Italian evenings at Giulio’s Café
On Giulio’s recommendation, we started with the chef’s twist on a classic Caprese salad. Our plate arrived with a ball of homemade burrata taking pride of place on a bed of tomatoes three ways (Roma, balsamic-roasted vine and sun-dried) topped with fresh pesto and toasted pine nuts.
While waiting for our mains – roasted kingklip on a generous bed of squid ink risotto with broccoli stems and a king prawn; and a carefully curated plate of beef tagliata – intoxicating wafts of melting mozzarella emanating from the wood-fired pizza oven reminded us of our previous visit, where we ordered a variety of delectable pizzas to share.
Rounding off the evening on a sweet note, we sampled Giulio’s favourite dessert: tiramisu, naturally, and also managed to squeeze in a portion of the Ferrero Rocher cheesecake, because if you leave an Italian restaurant without needing to unbuckle your belt, did you really have an authentic experience?