Food and drink
It's all about Northern Italian cuisine at this eatery - no short cuts, no excuses and no holds barred on authenticity. Each dish bears a handful of flavours and that is all that they need - whether seared fish or steaks, the simplest pastas or slow cooked casseroles. The wine list consists of local small estate and well-loved offerings as well as Nava's favourite homeland choices. And Grappa of course.
This restaurant does simple superbly. The caprese is sensational (Nava has tomatoes grown for him); if there's tuna, you must have it; I rarely manage to bypass the asparagus a la 95, with hollandaise, rocket and Parmesan; and the tuna and salmon tartare is swoonworthy. There are pastas too - I love the butternut and ricotta ravioli with burnt sage and don't forget the chorus of carpaccios...order a few and compare notes. No meal is complete at 95 without a taste of the dark chocolate soufflé.
Dressed to thrill in crisp white cloths, subrano wood and natural textures (look out for the original brickwork in the downstairs rooms). Upstairs is light and bright and brought to life by a huge tree around which the restaurant was built.
Nava's hands on approach is exemplary and his brigade of floor staff know that the same is expected of them. Most of the time they're spot on.
A road away from Long Street.
Prices hover around the 130 rand mark for mains.
Tables to book
In the wintery months, I like the intimate downstairs rooms while in summer upstairs is perfect for supper (and people spotting) and sun-splashed lunches.
- Design and architecture