Inviting Il Leone

What with you know what hitting the fan and all, we haven’t been to the fabulous Il Leone in about 2 years. A recent visit there showed us that it is still one of the finest –if not THE finest Italian restaurant in Cape Town. Relying on the freshest of ingredients so well handled, delicious flavours spring from every plate. Far from the traditional pizza and pasta places, this is fine dining Italian style.

Tuna ceviche


We started with Tuna Ceviche– the freshest fish diced into tiny cubes, served with the lightest slightly acidic dressing and olive oil which lifted the fish to irresistible heights.

Carpaccio di manzo

The other starter was Carpaccio di manzo, beef fillet sliced so thinly you could see through the slices, drizzled with olive oil and topped with tiny shavings of parmesan and some mushrooms—superb.

Fritto misto


We decided to splurge and ordered Fritto Misto, the most gorgeous flash fried very large prawns, calamari and fish done in a crunchy tasty batter, so well cooked one could—and did –eat the shell of the prawns—


. Mains included brilliant Saltimbocca, the tenderest veal infused with sage and white wine and generously topped with Parma ham, magnificent.


We finished off with rich and traditional tiramisu, and the best panna cotta I have eaten in years. You know how with many of them you can bounce a teaspoon off the panna cotta? Well, this one was brought to the table shivering with anticip…….ation. Just set, the spoon slipped into the heavenly cream without any resistance. Off set by a rich berry compote, this was a moment to remember for years.


Heavenly panna cotta

The service is superb, the wine list is legendary, the setting is wonderfully relaxed. Get there and take a load off the day.