Monday, October 26, 2015

Bistro 13 at Stellenbosch Vineyards celebrates its first anniversary

with a celebration lunch

This bistro opened just a year ago and it already scores 5 stars in the reader reviews on Eat Out. Chef Nic van Wyk, ably assisted by his partner Roxy Laker, has put together a winning formula of good bistro food, paired with a selection of Stellenbosch Vineyards wines. We were invited for lunch with other media to celebrate and to sample their new summer menu. We were fed good food till we begged "no more please!"
Roxy welcoming us and telling us about the past year. The R44 outside the restaurant was under huge construction for a couple of years as they widened the road. It is now finished and access is great to all the establishments along the way
Chef Nic with his pots
Our menu for the day with lots of dishes from the new summer menu
The bread was made by Nic and was delicious
First course of deep-fried crumbed goats cheese with a tangy salsa, fresh broad beans and honey vinaigrette.
This went perfectly with the dry and crisp 2015 Welmoed Pinot Grigio
Stellenbosch Vineyards Hayden's White paired with the next course ...
...tender morsels of fried baby calamari dusted with smoked paprika and accompanied by a creamy avocado salsa on a base of baby potatoes, topped with ribbons of crisp pickled cucumber. The plate was dotted with a good rouille mayonnaise. Definitely a dish to return for again and again
Wine for the next course was the Credo Chenin 2010. So great to have a chenin with some age and maturity, which is still singing with fruit and elegance
The next course was Sweetbreads on a carrot purée in a brown caper butter, for those who enjoy sweetbreads. It is one of Nic's signature dishes and we hear it was excellent,
but for those of us who are not fans of sweetbreads, wafer thin slices of well seasoned pork belly served with a celeriac remoulade, apple cubes and a fresh salad of baby leaves. Another well thought out dish
The main course was beautifully plated. Herb crusted tender but firm monkfish fillets, served with Nic's own rich tangy tomato sauce done two ways, the darker has squid ink added to it. It was accompanied by peas and crisp potato cubes. The wine served with this was the Credo SMV 2012. SMV is a Shiraz, Mourvedre, Viognier blend and it may surprise some that red wine does pair well with fish dishes, especially when accompanied by a rich sauce
Roxy with Kalinka Lombard
And then a surprise addition to taste from Infinity wines. The First XI The Belter 2014 is a wine made at Rickety Bridge for cricketer Faf du Plessis, who has a share in the restaurant. It is a blend of Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Cinsaut, Tannat and Viognier. The bottle is signed by four great cricketers: Two South Africans, Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers, New Zealander Stephen Fleming and Australian Mike Hussey. This wine will be served in the restaurant. It's a complex and layered blend showing good aging potential and which goes well with food
And then another main course: Braised lamb shoulder and rib, on a bed of barley and asparagus "risotto" with crisp onion rings, broad beans and a herby olive oil and garlic sauce. Wonderful. The toothsome barley goes so well with the soft lamb. The wine served with this was the juicy Stellenbosch Vineyards Bush vine 2014 Pinotage
Nick sent us a pre-dessert of a warm Rum Baba. Many people at the table had not experienced this classic dessert before and it may well become a firm favourite at the restaurant. A baba is made from a baked yeasty batter and it is then soaked in syrup and alcohol, usually rum, served warm and topped with a rich cream and fruit. Nic added more syrup to the plate
Then came the official dessert - a Three chocolate terrine with a caramel sauce and praline dust. It was beautifully light, but rich with chocolate. Both desserts were served with the sticky sweet and delicious Infinity 2012 Noble Late Harvest wine. By now we were all "elegantly satisfied" and ready for the trip home after good double espressos. A great introduction to the summer menu, thank you both
The summer menu for you to go and try
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015

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