Not just wonderful wines: Constantia Glen has upped its food game
The restaurant on this boutique Cape wine farm has expanded its menu. Kit Heathcock checks it out
There’s a reason that Constantia Glen is a favourite with locals and visitors alike – you don’t get much better than the spectacular views looking over its own vineyards, the whole valley spilling down beyond.
It feels like stepping into an airbrushed magazine spread, sunshine painting the vines brilliant green, mountain backdrop and beautiful but informal decor. The wines are pretty spectacular too, and the food menu has gradually been evolving from supporting role to a reason to visit in itself.
There’s no separation between wine tasting and restaurant. Wherever you’re seated, in one of the two courtyards, glass-walled pavilion or long stoep, you can order from a choice of wine-tasting options (or wine pairings by the glass) and a varied food menu.
In addition to the range of platters designed to accompany wine tastings (with a new vegan platter featuring homemade vegan cheeses and more), and a whole selection of their signature flammkuchen, the new mains section of the menu expands a light lunch into something more leisurely and substantial.
Our waitress was knowledgeable about the Bordeaux-style wines, and suggested splitting the flagship wine tasting of four estate wines into two parts, the whites with our starter followed by reds with our mains.
We first sipped the Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc 2019, fresh, elegant and captivating, and the Constantia Glen Two 2018, a tantalising blend of sauvignon blanc and semillon.
A large caprese flammkuchen was more than enough as a shared starter, thin crisp rectangles of deliciousness, slightly richer than pizza and practically a meal in itself.
Back at our panoramic window table after a stroll along the green lawn, admiring vines and the Constantiaberg backdrop, our red wines were presented before the main courses arrived.
Constantia Glen Three and Five 2016, named for the number of varietals in each blend, and both superb structured wines with potential for aging.
The mains were a fine foil for an extended wine tasting, generous plates and hearty flavours. I enjoyed robust pulled lamb with wild mushrooms and potato gratin, but the seared tuna niçoise was better suited to that day’s hot summer weather: thick slices of briefly seared tuna, the centre raw, fresh and tender on a sumptuous salad including olives, eggs, potato, green beans and baby leaves.
The traditional Austrian goulash with spätzle, and seared beef fillet with chips, were other tempting options.
Desserts are hardly needed after such a feast, and we didn’t succumb to the lure of chocolate fondant, but homemade vanilla bean ice cream slipped down a treat, as did an affogato.
• Constantia Glen Tasting Room is open from 10am-9pm seven days a week. For more information, call 021 795 5639 or visit constantiaglen.com
This article was originally published in the Sunday Times Neighbourhood: Property and Lifestyle guide. Visit Yourneighbourhood.co.za