PIZA E VINO MELVILLE REVIEW
Once the bohemian capital of the city, Melville has once again stolen the hearts of locals and visitors alike, with its cultural spirit, vibrant nightlife, charming shops, cafes and bars lining the streets, crowds spilling out at all hours of the day.
Situated in the most exciting, buzzed about suburb in Jozi, it can be found a few streets away from the rowdy bar goers in leafy Lothbury Road – Piza e Vino offers the best of both worlds.
The first thing that caught my eye was that the restaurant is not in a shopping mall, a building or even in a parking lot as I’ve come to expect of many Joburg restaurants. It’s on street level (with its own secure parking) and has a beautiful courtyard illuminated by fairy lights and candlelit tables. In case of the of late cooler nights, the deck is covered to protect from summer rains and every seat has a blanket.
The wine list is impressive with many South African favourites, perfect for pairing with the Italian fair. If wine isn’t your thing, there’s a comprehensive cocktail menu (all of which can be mocktails) and craft beer.
The kitchen is extremely accommodating and should you be unable to commit as we were, you can do half and half.
The Zucco (R65 large) had roasted butternut, spinach, chilli and feta and the Breezy Brie (R90 large) was topped with sundried tomato, brie, basil and avo. The base was perfectly crispy and not too thick. The toppings were fresh and abundant. The flavour combinations were perfect. It was a delicious experience that made me feel genuinely sorry for people who deprive themselves of carb.
We snacked on some zucchini frites (R35) which were perfectly uniform (the Masterchef judges would approve) and crisp, though slightly too salty.
For dessert we had the chocolate fondant (R40), which was rich, decadent and perfectly oozing with dark molten chocolate, accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
I loved the combination of the Victorian and modern interior. The pressed ceiling, antique-looking light fittings and wooden floors contrasted perfectly with the black and white floor tiles, stylish black chairs, and built in benches along the walls.
One of the highlights of the evening was the faultless service from Aaron and the friendly staff. While there are a few Piza e Vinos dotted around Joburg, the Melvile restaurant didn’t feel like one of a chain.
Whether it be a romantic dinner, an evening of Italian comfort food amongst friends, or a group of varsity students coming to watch a big game (there is a TV in the background though the sound was muted so it was not at all a disruption), Piza e Vino has all bases covered. (yeah, I went there).