Caveau

Caveau Restaurant & Wine Bar

Restaurant: Mon - Sat | 12:00-22:30
Bar: Mon - Sat | 11:00-02:00
 
+27(0)21 422 1367
Heritage Square | 92 Bree Street City Centre
http://www.caveau.co.za
info@caveau.co.za
caveau_za

Caveau Restaurant & Wine Bar

In vino veritas – in wine there’s truth

*Much to CapeTownMagazine.com's dismay, in July 2012 Caveau closed their doors. Be sure to visit their sister enterprises: Sotano and HQ.*

Jean-Yves Muller and Brendan Crew met while working at The Cape Grace. Long nights would end with the two prowling the streets of Cape Town looking for somewhere to have a bottle of wine with a platter of cheese.

These sojourns generally ended with beer and tacos—not quite what they had in mind. This desire to wind the night down in a more civilised manner led to the idea of opening Caveau. (As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.)

I’ve visited Caveau many times; it’s situated in the beautiful and historic Heritage Square. You can dine outside on the stoep, and watch the city’s characters flow past; or inside where soft seating makes sinking in and getting stuck in unavoidable. There’s also a central courtyard, which interestingly boasts Cape Town’s oldest grape vine (it apparently produces merlot grapes).

It’s lunchtime; Jean is sitting opposite regaling his tale. The courtyard hums around us: an oasis of culture from the city outside. There’s a certain magic in the air, the kind you could feel when exploring a European village. The cobblestones, weathered wood, and chalkboard menus only amplify this.

So, although it started as a wine and cheese bar, the restaurant expanded to include a bistro menu that changes twice daily. Expect French peasant food cooked with finesse: generous plates piled high with things like roasted herby chicken, and confit duck with dauphinoise potatoes. They also have a ‘raw bar’, from which you can order sushi, oysters as well as salmon and beef tartar. Come late afternoon to feast on tapas like crispy prawns and marinated beef, while propping yourself up at their bar.

Why don’t we do something different?

Caveau is French for ‘cellar’, so it stands to reason that the experience here is seriously wine driven; but not in a serious way at all, in fact it’s rather playful. “I’m good friends with JP Rousseau,” says Jean. (JP of the eponymous restaurant guide.) “He suggested we do something different with our wine list,” continues Jean. “Instead of having a heavy dictionary of wines, we’ve separated it into sections.” Paging through we spy categories labelled by ‘mood and context’ and not variety.  There are ‘food friendly wines’, ‘unusual finds’, and much more.

We decided to do something funkier,” says Jean. “People are scared of wines; we want to break down those barriers.”

Our sushi comes on a wooden board and we pair it with Welbedacht Chenin Blanc. We follow on from this with confit duck. Jean tells me that although the menu changes often, they do have some classics that the regulars ask for; the Caveau burger for one. With a French-accented goodbye, Jean is off to check on other tables. The owners we’re told are very much involved in the day-to-day running of the restaurant, and that 90 percent of the time one of them will be here.

We say au revoir, begrudgingly, we could have easily spent the afternoon tasting our way through the list, and by the looks of things many people are doing just that.  

By Malu Lambert

We also enjoyed a steak dinner at sister restaurant HQ. Subscribe to our newsletter, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Cape Town Events Calendar
May 2015
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31

Sushi Making Classes Towers RestaurantSushi Making Classes at African Pride ...

Learn how to make sashimi, nigiri, maki and more with a lesson from an ...

GFWS logo good food and wine showThe Cape Town Good Food and Wine Show

Catch the big guns of the culinary world at this year’s beloved expo

YOH Pirates at The Assembly Assembly Presents: YOH! Pirates Dress ...

Saturday turns into a rum lovin’ costume shindig at this Harrington Street ...

Brumbies VS Stormers NewlandsDHL Stormers VS Melbourne Rebels Super ...

Cape Town’s Stormers go head-to-head with the boys from Down Under in this ...

Matt Manning One Ingredient Pop-up Dinner and Cooking ClassOne Ingredient - Interactive dining ...

Learn how to prepare gourmet dishes while tucking into a four-course food and ...

Barnyard Theatre tribute ABBA Bee Gees Queen 01Barnyard Theatre’s Tribute to ABBA, ...

Celebrate the decades of disco, pop and great tunes

Cabaret at The Fugard Theatre Cabaret Musical at The Fugard Theatre

One of Broadway’s most popular productions comes to Cape Town

Haute Cabriere 1Haute Cabrière Wine Estate’s Cellar ...

Delve into a world of vino theatre every Saturday at this Franschhoek-based ...

John at the Artscape TheatreJohn Play at the Artscape

Explore the hidden world of sex workers through the eyes of a man seeking his ...

Dancelines Metronome Ballet and Contemporary DanceDancelines Studio Presents Metronome ...

Delight in the beauty of all types of dance celebrating musical diversity and ...

The Pervert Laura Play at the FugardThe Pervert Laura at the Fugard Theatre

A brilliant character study of a woman who starts to unravel as her dark past ...

LifeArt with Angala BoutiqueAn Art Weekend Away at Angala Boutique ...

Let your creative juices flow with an arty stay in the gorgeous Franschhoek ...

Hercules Dynamix Heavenly House Cocktail and Dance PartyHeavenly House Cocktail and Dance Party ...

Bounce to sick beats until the wee hours of the morning at this swanky affair

African Arts Campus Africa MonthAfrica Month Lecture Series with the ...

Join the African Arts Campus for a series of enlightening talks on politics, ...

St Petersburg Ballet at the ArtscapeSwan Lake Ballet at the Artscape Theatre

Don’t miss the world-class St Petersburg Ballet Theatre’s rendition of ...

Booom! Baby ExhibitionBooom! Baby Art Exhibition at the ...

Grab your very own limited edition print from a renowned artist and help HOLAH ...

Belmond Mount Nelson HotelThe Summer of 1946 by Alexander McCall ...

Drink the stars and watch Alexander McCall Smith’s out-of-this-world play at ...

Black Koki Worldart GalleryWorldart Gallery Exhibition: Black Koki ...

Laugh now, cry later is a departure from the artist’s usual detailed ...

Craft beer from The Taproom Salt RiverSaturday Breakfast at The Taproom

Make Saturday mid-morning memorable with a moreish bite and a brewery tour at ...

Hazendal new 7Saturday Picnics at Hermitage Restaurant

Slow down and join the ants for a leisurely lunch on the grounds of ...

Truffle Halal Restaurant Burger Special Cape TownBurger and Milkshake Special at Truffle ...

Visit this upmarket halaal bistro on any Saturday for a trio of sliders and a ...

The Palms Market in WoodstockMarket at The Palms in Woodstock

Bringing country-style food to city tables every Saturday in Cape Town

Lounge furniture from Eco Furniture Decor online storeEco Furniture Design Store Sale

Buy beautifully crafted wooden dining room, bedroom and patio pieces for a ...

Spier Eight logoEight Restaurant Thrusts Its Doors Open ...

Spier Wine Farm’s farm-to-table eatery’s now serving supper three days a ...

river club greensGolfer’s Breakfast Special at the ...

Make the most of the weekend with a morning of good grub and elegant swings

Cheap Superdry Jeans from Labels4Less Factory StoreSuperdry Clothing Sale: T-shirts, Jeans ...

Save an extra R50 on already discounted designer denim, tops, bags and ...

Wild Fig Outdoor Restaurant Dining The Wild Fig Restaurant’s Alfresco ...

Enjoy long, lazy weekend lunches outdoors at this historic Cape Town eatery