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Lifestyle
by Carmen Petre

A hidden gem in the heart of the city

Restaurant review

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In the vibrant suburb of Sea Point, housed in a brand new development - The Point, you find a restaurant in a class of its own. NV-80 Grill & Bar, named after the initials of the Gonçalves brothers, Naldo and Victor, joins the family of restaurants that have been successfully opened and run by the duo.

NV-80 is more than a place that serves food - it is an experience. Our dinner was perfect from start to finish - from the parking spot that we grabbed right in front of the Point - to the most delicious dessert that I have had in a long time. To be honest, the food was amazing, I feel like I could skip telling you about the decor, the service, or the wine list - but if you read on, you will find out why they are worth a mention.

From arrival, I could feel the vibey, yet intimate atmosphere. It is important to have enough personal space and to be far enough from the other patrons to not hear their conversation, and I felt perfectly comfortable the entire evening. The decor of the restaurant is sophisticated and subtle, with originally designed wallpaper, beautiful couches and comfortable seating; The long, well lit bar stood out as a perfect place to have cocktails before dinner and the prints decorating the wall behind the bar contributed to the cosy and relaxed ambience.

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As a former restaurant manager, I am quite critical when it comes to the service I receive and my standards are sometimes met, but very rarely exceeded. From the warm welcome at the door, to the perfect (and I do not use this word lightly) service throughout the evening, I was very impressed with the attention to detail of all the staff members. Our waiter, as well as the two front managers made sure that we were happy at all times, without being intrusive. Reason I love trying out new restaurants is the opportunity to sample different wines - being so spoiled for choice in our beautiful Cape Town it is hard to try all of them. I could tell you about the wonderfully aromatic Fleur de Cap Chenin Blanc that accompanied our meal, but I feel that the most important piece of information that I need to give you is the formidable price that you will pay for a bottle of champagne. French Champagne. The price for a bottle of Veuve Clicquot is R 600,00 while the Moët & Chandon is R 500,00.

The part that impressed me most would be the food, which was presented in a wonderfully appetizing way. We started our dinner with some of the freshest West Coast oysters, sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper and a dash of lemon juice, accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine and we knew that this was going to be a special experience. We also tried the sautéed cubes of fillet, mussels, and prawns deliciously sautéed with garlic, chilli, caper berry and Chenin Blanc, definitely a firm contender for best dish of the evening.
Our main course comprised of a specially made platter: medium rare rump steak, line fish, langoustines and prawns grilled in lemon, chilli, garlic and parsley, with a side of roast vegetables and french fries.

Even if you are not a meat lover, the steak is a must - grilled to perfection, it was juicy and scrumptious, my personal favourite of all the dishes that we tried, rivaled only by the clementine chocolate desert. My partner, who is not a seafood lover, declared himself truly delighted by the langoustines and the prawns.
We finished off with dessert: an apple tarte with a dollop of chai ice-cream as well as a mouthwatering, smooth and creamy chocolate and clementine cake slice that I hope they will make a permanent feature.

 First impressions are so important, and NV-80 makes a great one. I cannot wait to go back for lunch and champagne on the romantic patio overlooking Lion's Head or the busy streets of Sea Point or for a birthday dinner.

Fast Facts
The restaurant is open from 11:30 - 15:30 and from 18:00 - 22:30 Sunday to Thursday and from 11:30 - 15:30 and 18:00 - 23:30 on Friday and Saturday.

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