I love winter in the winelands. Sure, summer days and wine tasting go together like copy and paste, but in winter the Cape winelands comes alive. There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly rained on vineyards as you enter a winery on a cold winter’s day. Looking out at a winelands winter scene, from inside a fire-warmed restaurant, the greens are greener and the landscape sparkles under the winter sun.
One of my favourite areas to visit during winter is the Constantia wine valley. Not only is it closer to the city centre for spur-of-the-moment winelands adventures but the spectacular mountains that flank the Constantia Valley winelands make it one of the most beautiful places to be in Cape Town when it’s raining. When it comes to celebrating the beauty of the Constantia winelands in winter, no restaurant does it better than Steenberg’s Bistro Sixteen82.
Located at the foot of the Steenberg mountains; Bistro Sixteen82 is a must-visit wine and food destination where relaxed luxury is the order of the day. The restaurant boasts magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and expansive winelands, giving it a location that is hard to beat.
In summer, the glass doors of the architecturally unique restaurant building fly open, allowing the restaurant to spill into its surrounding indigenous gardens with a terraced dining area leading to reflective water features. It’s a grand scene with a vibey atmosphere that begs for a good time. In winter, it all gets a little more quiet and intimate. The double-volume glass doors are pulled shut, creating the perfect frame for the beautiful winter winelands scene as a fire crackles in the background. An understated elegance wafts over the eatery, and it becomes the perfect setting for long-lingering winter lunches with family and friends.
The ever-evolving menu boasts a wide variety of dishes made with locally sourced ingredients and seasonal produce. Executive Chef, Kerry Kilpin, loves to create food which is seasonal, flavourful and bursts with freshness. The dishes are inspired by Kilpin’s travels and her deep love of cooking. “You will notice a common thread in what I do and who I am. Love. I cook with love and my food is love.”
With breakfast, lunch and late-afternoon tapas menus to choose from, Bistro Sixteen82 offers laid-back bistro-style food with a contemporary spirit. I popped into the restaurant for lunch on a rainy Saturday afternoon for a taste of Chef Kerry Kilpin’s cooking. The menu offers so many tasty options to choose from with an additional specials menu offering extra temptation. To make life even easier for dinners, each dish on the menu offers a suggested wine pairing.
A taste of Bistro Sixteen82
We started our meal with a pick from the specials menu; a heart-warming Parsnip & Spinach Soup (R80). This rich, sweet, and mildly spicy soup was the perfect serving size and was the ideal start to a meal on a chilly day. Other delicious options on the starting menu include the Panko Crusted Cheese Fritter (R92 – with Rhubarb & ginger jam, tender greens, pumpkin seed & granola crunch) and the Tempura Prawns (R118 – with a Peanut & coriander noodle salad, harissa mayo, chilli syrup).
Next up was another pick from the specials menu for me; Pumpkin Gnocchi with pulled beef, bacon crumble, tomato ragout, and Emmenthal cream (R195). This hearty dish was beyond tasty. The sweet pumpkin gnocchi paired beautifully with the fattiness of the bacon and the richness of the Emmenthal cream. The bacon crumble offered a welcomed crunch in every bite, beautifully balancing out the soft, chewy elements on the plate.
The boyfriend opted for a 200g Beef Fillet served with Polenta frittes, tender greens, green bean, salsa, roast garlic jus, and creamy whole grain mustard (R255). His steak was cooked perfectly and was beautifully complemented by the roast garlic jus and creamy mustard.
The Banoffee Bread & Butter Pudding (R92 – with caramel, vanilla mousse, and pecan nut praline ice cream) made the perfect sharing dish for dessert. Digging into the warm gooey centre of this moreish pudding revealed a secret treat of caramel soaked bananas, elevating each bite to divinely sweet heights. A crunchy caramel tuile gave some nice crunch to the dish and offered a handy edible vessel for scooping up the vanilla moose dotted around the plate.
Winter specials you’ll love
If you’re looking for a place to celebrate the beauty of winter, then you can’t go wrong with Bistro Sixteen82. The setting is beyond beautiful, and the food absolutely exquisite. It’s a brilliant spot for a special occasion or just a spoil with friends and family. Even better news? The restaurant is running a bunch of fantastic winter specials, so there’s no excuse not to pop in for a bite to eat!
The Hearty & Homely lunch special offers the choice of a 2-course lunch for R275 per person, 3-course for R315 per person, or 4-course for R350 per person. The offer is available Monday to Friday for tables up to 10 people until 31 September 2021.
There’s also a beautiful Tapas for 2 special. Enjoy 5 tapas of the day dishes pre-selected by Chef Kerry Kilpin at R355 for two people sharing. The offer is valid Monday to Sunday evenings between 17:00 and 20:00 until 30 September 2021. This is the perfect after-work indulgence or early dinner treat for weekends.
For breakfast, check out the Vintner’s Breakfast special. This special breakfast for wine lovers includes a glass of Steenberg bubbly with your choice of signature classics on the breakfast menu including Chef Kerry’s famous eggs Benedict served with tea or coffee. The Vintner’s Breakfast at R215 per person is available Monday to Sunday for tables up to 8 people until the end of November and ends with a vintner’s tasting of four Steenberg wines.
For more information and bookings visit the Steenberg website here.
After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.