A little reminiscent of a pavement café’s one finds on the pedestrian filled streets of many European cities but Bucatini is neither on a busy street pavement, nor in Europe but in the village of St Francis Bay. In fact unless you have reason to climb the steps to visit the physio, the Studio or Get-a-Fix you are unlikely to have ever seen it.

Being on the upper level of the Rhapsody Centre seems to have left Bucatini somewhat out of sight for many and poor signage has not really done them any favours. That it was seldom ever open also didn’t do its reputation any good and it is little wonder that some locals have never heard of it in spite of being regular visitors to the Rhapsody centre.

Well all that is about to change.

Situated next to the gym on the landing leading up to Fouche Swart’s Physio rooms, the Studio and Get-a-Fix, Bucatini occupies a section of the verandah of what would have been the kitchen of the popular old Tratoria in years gone by.

Cosy and comfortable with a brick motive wall covering that appears at first glance to be wallpaper until informed that in fact the entire interior was designed and painstakingly hand painted by talented Port Elizabeth artist and photographer, Sharon Welman.

Because of the rather small space it occupies tables are quite close together but it doesn’t feel crowded and there is a sense of coziness and intimacy. Maybe on a busy night this comment would need to be reviewed but it certainly felt comfortable.

The cuisine…. Pizza and Pasta and a few other dishes for those looking beyond pasta and pizza for a choice of ‘chicken or beef’ or maybe a little fish dish.

Arriving at Bucatini you receive a very warm welcome from Maitre’D / Barista / all round nice guy Raymond. The menu that is not too long to be confusing and best of all easy to read without one’s reading glasses. What is it with some restaurants the design their menu to be virtually unreadable in poor light. Personally I prefer menus with fewer choices, less confusing and easier to make a decision.

I chose the Bucatini alla Matriciana and delightful it was. A delightful, tasty choice made up with bacon, chili, tomato and onion with just enough chili so as not to burn but enough to raise a little perspiration on the brow. A rather cute touch was the a side dish of garlic, red and green chili and parmesan arranged in the colours of the Italian flag.

Pasta prices are reasonable but considering pizza prices at competing ‘pizzeria’s’ Bucatini’s pizza’s cost a tad more and are cooked in a gas oven rather than being cooked in a wood fired kiln.

The restaurant is fully licensed and considering its central location could become a popular spot for an after work glass of wine and pizza / pasta on a Friday afternoon.

Good news for those looking for somewhere to eat on a Monday for Bucatini is open for dinner on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and for lunch and dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. To make a reservation you can call 071 381 9512

Would I return? Absolutely! There are a still a few pasta’s I would like to try and I will certainly return for a Bucatini all Matriciana.

Maitre Raymond, Manager Alison and Chef Allie