I go out every single Friday night. Come illness, come fatique, come torrential downpour.
Except over December where every babysitter ever born is booked up.
So this Friday night felt like absolute heaven; just to be out the house after dark, without a nappy bag and 2 children in tow.
I'd heard about this new Pineslopes restaurant on Facebook and kept eyeing it out on a Spar run for milk and bread. Tucked away in the corner, just the font looked appealing; but with no road view to sneak a peek, I had no idea what to expect when I walked through the door. And I was blown away. Bright and beautiful. Walls adorned with big green leaf wall paper and an interesting black wood lattice design. Yellow velvet chairs and wooden accents. A little shelf with ducks and a bar brimming with ingredients for the ample cocktail menu.
Seated at a table with a fresh white tablecloth and a menagerie of glasses, we were immediately served mint water while handed the menu; which made me squeal with delight as a little duck leapt off the page. The most adorable touch.
Margarita (of course) ordered; we perused the menu and all ooohed and ahhhed. A complimentary duck pate brought to us by the owner - pronouned a winner by my husband, since I dont eat duck (how did I end up here?) who then tried to have it as a starter but I insisted he tried something else (I'm bossy)
My giant salt crusted margarita was brought to the table. Cold and tangy; maybe the best I've had! The owner came and told us her recommendations; which instantly changed our minds from what we'd chosed; we ordered from our awesome waiter, Kaizer.
Then the food arrived. Our eyes widened as plates of the most beautifully plated food was put before us. Parma ham and melon for my mother in law; lobster bisque with a side of delicious lobster tail; onion soup with a crunchy round of bread in the middle; and the prawn shooters for me.
The food was incredible. Just tasty and ridiculously fresh. French yet so modern and fresh (in the other sense of the word) and we all ended up passing spoons and forks across the table to taste test. Before even starting her own parma ham started, Irene proclaimed that NEXT TIME she'd have the onion soup (I guess we're going back)
It was then that I managed to knock over my second margarita; the tables are very small and I managed to bump it with my hand as I moved to move my hair. Oops. But so quickly our drinks were moved to the next table over! Never before has that been my experience when spilling a drink and within a blink our original table was reset. The organisation in the restaurant is phenomal. And every member of staff that we met was so friendly; and such fun to chat to. We laughed with them all (I promise it wasnt just the margaritas)
Quite quickly the mains arrived; I had the chicken corden bleu - something I usually avoid because I dont eat ham - but this one was stuffed with mushrooms, white cheeses and basil (the basil curiously wasnt mentioned on the menu; luckily I'm a fan) with a side of buttery delicious roast potatoes but oddly propped up with my mashed potato, too. Both men had the signature duck with traditonal orange sauce; served with a square of potato gratin; and they didnt say a word as they happily munched their way through it. My husband later told me (when I 'grilled' him for blog purposes) that it was the best grilled duck he's ever had.
Happy and so impressed as I looked around the busy, buzzing little restaurant. The ambience second to none.
Next the menu's came back for dessert; when I spotted the little story about the owners. Who doesnt love a story that isn't "so i bought this franchise".
I called Kaizer over and asked his dessert recommendation and ended up ordering the dark, white and milk chocolate mousse; while the others ordered the famous French Cape Suzette. The mysterious man in his silver waist coat came over and I realised his essential role in the restaurant - he was the man who flambes! Dessert set alight and my decaf cappuccino delivered, warm and delcious and not in a typical branded cup (my worst) we all starting discussing when we'd be back; already worried the reservations would shoot through the roof!
All in all; I wont call it my restaurant on 2020 because thats unfair to such a stellar restaurant when it's only the second week of the year. So instead I'll predict it will be a regular addition to our Friday night favourites, for the rest of 2020 and onwards.
Pretty, bright, delicious; pure happiness in a little Fourways French cafe. And they do breakfast!
Do yourself a favour and duck in to Old Ducky.
Quel debut pour 2020!