Bucatini to open six days a week

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

Weekend dining ideas

Now that you have probably choked on the President’s promises made in his SONA speech, here are some more pleasant ideas to chew on,

Friday sees fish specials on the menu at both Joe Fish at the Resort with hake and chips at R69.00 and hake or calamari and chips on menu at The Links for just R79.00.

Wood Fired Pizza’s and burgers are on the menu at both the two new kids on the block, Full Stop in Cape St Francis and at Waterberry Park on the corner R330 and Oyster Bay road. Burgers are also on offer at both places but if you want something different and really tasty, try Full Stop’s Lamb Burger. Had one last night and ….Wow!!

Want a choice of some fine Greek cuisine with a beautiful view over the harbor, George has moved from Dionysus and is operating out of the Port St Francis Ski Boat & Yacht Club. This spacious venue undoubtedly has one of the finest views in ST Francis and diners can choose to eat outdoors or, if the weather isn’t too good, indoors. George also offers scrumptious local calamari and fresh fish.

St Francis Brewing Company is having one of their famous Sunday lunches. This Sunday it is the traditional Roast Beef & Yorkshire Pud.

And of course Joe Fish at the Resort has its ever popular lunch around pool on Sub=nday with their unbeatable Calamari and Ribs platter for four. Finger licking good!

Aircraft lands on beach

Light aircraft makes emergency landing on the beach at van Stadens

NSRI Station 37 Jeffreys Bay duty crew were activated shortly after lunch following a request by Kouga Fire and Rescue Services to respond to the Van Stadens River Mouth for a light aircraft reported to have landed on the beach in an emergency landing.

The Jeffreys Bay NSRI rescue vehicle with crew responded and joined SA Police Services, Kouga Fire and Rescue Services and EC Government Health EMS who had already been activated by ARCC (Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre).

It was reported that there were no injuries and on arrival on the scene a Plettenberg Bay pilot and his wife were found safe on the beach and uninjured.  The pilot had landed on the beach in an emergency landing during a flight from Port Elizabeth to George following suspected motor failure.

Douglas Aviation aircraft technicians were activated and assisted on the scene.

The incident is being investigated by CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).

Following consultation with CAA investigators the aircraft was moved to safety nearby to be recovered.

No further assistance was required.

Where to eat this week – 28th January

 

Where to eat this week – 28th January to 2nd February

At last payday is here after the longest month in the year for many and it is time to treat ourselves to a meal out. Here are a few ideas of what uis available in Cape St Francis and St Francis Bay this week.

The Links – Tonight (Monday) The Links has their Monday easy dining with a menu choice of  individually and affordable starters, mains and desserts. And on Wednesday the have the three-curry-menu at just R138.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is probably the best deal of the week. Full Stop Café in Cape St Francis hahe Pizza at HALF-Price. Wow did I enjoy it last Tuesday – where can you gat a pizza and a craft draft beer or glass of wine and a pizza for under R100. Full Stop Cafe is now open from Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner and on Sunday for lunch closing at 4:30pm.

New on the dining scene  is George’s move from Dionysus to the Port St Francis Ski Boat and Yacht Club premises at the Port. George will be open Thursady thru Sunday for Lunch and dinner and will be offering some of his favourite dishes including local calamari.

Last on te list is Pommes Frites Fresh Mussel”Belgium Style”.

Also in Cape St Francis Resort – Joe Fish has Hake & Chips on the mr\enu at R69 and on Sunday – lunch around the pool at Joe Fish where their Calamari and Ribs is still a firm favourite. Live music every Sunday.

New Restaurant Opens in Cape St Francis

You will barely recognise the Place

Those who visited Rock Lily during its heyday of great music shows will barely recognise the transformation this landmark Cape St Francis venue has undergone recently. Almost totally gutted to create a bright, airy space that was not obvious in either the rather cramped confines of the old Stix or Rock Lily.

Named after the popular Full Stop pub that operated in Cape St Francis a few years back, this new venue is surely going to become a very popular dining venue for locals, holiday makers and international tourists visiting Cape St Francis. Best you try it before the Christmas crowds arrive for Full Stop is going to become First and Last Stop for many a beach goer this coming season.

A totally new kitchen, complete with a wood fired Pizza oven opens out onto the dining area which has been cleverly designed in such as was as to create four, even five different areas. Whereas the old venue’s only view was onto da Gama Drive, Full Stop opens onto the nature reserve at the back of the venue and onto a garden complete with water feature to the north where the old nursery used to be.

A lounge / dining area bordering onto the nature reserve is name Car Park John after what has become one of Cape St Francis locals favourite craft draft beers, Car Park John. Car Par John is an almost legendary Port Elizabeth surfer somewhat similar to Durban’s legendary Baron Stander famed for his daily surf reports. Protected with pull-downs should a westerly wind be blowing this area can be opened up in good weather and is sure to be the most sought after area around sunset on those warm, still summer evenings.

I popped in for a beer on the first night they were open just to have a look but didn’t eat so returned yesterday at lunchtime to savour their fare.  Ordering from a limited but more than adequate menu of burgers, pizzas, salads, wraps, toasties and more, I ordered  what seemed a ‘have-it-all’ Seals Burger. Under strict instruction from my Doc that allows no bread in my diet, the menu allows you to ‘DROP’ the bun and choose two side dishes. What a great idea. I selected sweet potato chips as a side, my Doc will be so proud of me as she has banned potatoes from my diet as well.

The burger was perfectly presented, perfectly cooked and served with a topping of bacon, cheese, coleslaw, avocado and jalapeno’s with a side serving of mushrooms which at R95 is really good value and great tasting. I will definitely be back to savour more of the menu.

Be sure to peek at the daily chalk board where the day’s specials are advertised. Yesterday it was Oxtail, and Dijon Yellowtail with either Kiwi Cheesecake or a Chocolate / Almond truffle for the sweet of tooth.

When writing a column for a Sunday national years ago my then editor once instructed me that no matter how good a venue is always find something not so good and if the place is not very good always find at least find one nice thing to say. Well Full Stop really is worth a visit, a menu that will please most, not as a fine dining restaurant but what it is intended as, a family restaurant. Lovely ambience in a peaceful setting.

Oh the bad …. Have to get back to you on that one as I couldn’t find that one thing this time around.

Some pointers off the menu.

All the burgers under R100 other than to Lamb Burger at R119 but the Veggie burger is just R70. Salads and wraps also in the R90 region with pizza from R75 to Norwegian or Morroccan topping the list at R120 but then Norwegian is topped with smoked salmon and the Morrocan with ground lamb curry (me next choice). For the kiddies, burgers, pizzas and toasties all around the R50 mark.

Full Stop is managed by husband / wife team René and Lee Posthumous with Lee being the chef and René looking after the front of house.

Oh …. the bad! – Well maybe next time we visit for it was all pretty good this time around.

Monday Dining at Dunes

Monday night is usually a quiet, stay at home night for many but  for some, especially for those who work over weekends a chance to get out and about. From a personal situation where waking early to compile St Francis Today means early to bed Sunday to Thursday nights make Monday a no-no but an old pal I worked with back in 70’s suggested we should go and try the R95 offering at Dune Ridge. An invitation to visit Dune Ridge is not something one turns down for not only is it one of the most beautiful havens in St Francis, but it also means good food, be it a platter of sandwiches, a selection of cakes or indeed a meal.

Each Monday Sarah-Jane puts together a menu with a choice of two starters, two entrees and two desserts. Last night the starters were a pumpkin and cumin soup or a sourdough bread with creamy peri-peri chicken livers. Entrees were both to die for; Lamb Shank or a Spinach & Feta stuffed Chicken topped with a Garlic Neoplitana Sauce and dessert, either Chocolate Brownies or Malva pudding with a Amarula Custard

Having arrived earlier than rest of the party I sat on the patio taking in the night air and best of all, the wonderful aromas drifting through the house from the kitchen. Seeing the menu and recalling those wonderful aromas of earlier, my decision was simple – Lamb Shank. Not being a big eater I gave the starters a miss.  My decision to forego a starter was well rewarded for the lamb served on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and sprouts was  not only generous but absolutely scrumptious ‘fall-off-the-bone’ delicious.

Then the ‘piece de la resistance’! Malva pudding. Having been desperately trying to lose weight I have steered away from sugar over the past eight weeks but simply could not deny myself. Certainly the highlight of the meal and I would return just to have another. And judging by how the other guests who chose the Malva almost licked their plates clean they were unlike Mallett and Williams, but rather in total agreement. More than delicious!

Dune Ridge is offering these Monday dinners at just R95 although the starter is at additional cost should you choose one and St Francis Today will endeavour to get Sarah to send us the menu in advance so you can put together  bunch of pals and spend an evening at Dune Ridge. Sarah has also introduced a ‘Burger & Crazy Shakes’ night  on Wednesday 23rd (tomorrow) night. If their burgers are anywhere as good as that Lamb Shank it is a night not to be missed.