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 2016
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

Coppelia BalletCoppelia Ballet at the Artscape Theatre

Enjoy the intrigue, romance and deception of this comic ballet

One&Only Guest Speaker Series Grant LotteringOne&Only Cape Town Guest Speaker Series

Be inspired by compelling stories of triumph and success from South African ...

Naked Girls Reading in Cape Town 1Naked Girls Reading in Cape Town

See how sensuality and literary works merge with this unique concept returning ...

cafe Roux SessionsCafé Roux Sessions in Noordhoek

Enjoy an intimate evening of live music with South Africa’s most talented ...

District Six Kanala Musical in Cape Town District Six - Kanala Musical

David Kramer brings another lekker local production to the Mother City

Murder Mystery Dinners in Cape TownMurder Mystery Dinner Parties Cape Town

Intrigue, secrecy and cold-blooded killings are the order of the day at these ...

Cape Town Concert SeriesCape Town Concert Series at the Baxter ...

Add a sweet melody to the end of your summer with these stirring and soulful ...

Quad Biking back safari Aquila Game ParkQuad Bike Safari at Aquila Game Reserve

Get up close and personal with South Africa’s animal kingdom on an ...

Rafikis CocktailsThursday Half-Price Cocktail Special ...

As if you needed another reason to visit this laidback bar, cocktails are half ...

Avontuur Wine Estate entrance Specialised Tastings at Avontuur Wine ...

Spice up your winery experience with one of these delectable monthly pairings

Peter Falke Wine Farm Winter MenuWinter Wine and Food Pairings at Peter ...

Warm your belly with robust reds and savoury snacks at this whimsical boutique ...

AWOL-City-cycle-tour-6.jpgCape Town City Cycle Tour with AWOL ...

Discover the rich history of Cape Town’s CBD in an active, engaging way with ...

De Hoop Nature ReserveYoga Retreat at De Hoop Nature Reserve

Unleash your downward dog in fantastical fynbos at this gorgeous reserve

african relish 4Culinary Getaway with African Relish

For the foodie traveller or those who want culinary combined with relaxation

aMadoda_Interior1.jpgThursday Beer Special at aMadoda Braai ...

Start the weekend early with three cold brews for the price of two at aMadoda- ...

Burst 1The Burst Exhibition at Gallery MOMO

Challenge the stereotypes attached to the black female form

Feast 3The Friday Night Feast at the Palms ...

Let your inner-foodie loose at this night market, situated in the historic ...

Snow World 5Snow World Snow Park at GrandWest

It’s finally going to snow in Cape Town!

Optical Diversion ExhibitionOptical Diversion Exhibition at ...

Venture into a world of abstraction with this eye-catching show

I See You at the FugardI See You at The Fugard Theatre

Witness an all-star cast and director bring this poignant play home

Underwater Photographer of the YearThe Underwater Photographer of the Year ...

Dive down deep into an underwater world of superlative photography

Pool deck at the African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & SpaHalf-price Sushi Special at African ...

Get 50% off this Century City restaurant’s sushi and selected cocktails every ...

Cape Town Youth Choir Handel's Messiah 1SA College of Music Concert Series

Music has the power to inspire, and these scholars appreciate its true meaning

Lunares - 2Lunares Flamenco Showcase

Flamenco is much more than just billowy skirts and matadors

Excentric InteriorShellac Manicure-centric and ...

Spoil yourself with one of these signature nail treatments and receive a 25% ...

The Village Idiot Restaurant & Bar in Cape TownSunday Winter Craftsmen Braai at The ...

Celebrate the last day of the week with blazing fires and epic food experiences ...

Life-Rob Van Vuuren-3Life by Rob van Vuuren

Laugh out loud as Rob van Vuuren takes the funny back in time to the date of ...

Backtracker Cycling Back UnitCycling Events in the Western Cape

Use this handy cycling overview to diarise your favourite events for the ...

Burn the FloorBurn the Floor Dance Show at the Baxter ...

Sinfully sexy, this dance showcase is about to get hot!

blokes-hair-foundry-logo.jpgFake Fridays Haircut Special at Blokes ...

Pair a bespoke haircut with a cold beer every Thursday for just R190

The Underwater ExhibitionUnderwater Cape Town Exhibition

A kaleidoscope of skin comes to life in a popular pool

Scootours FamilyJunior Passengers Ride FREE Every ...

This family-friendly off-road adventure will see you (and the whole clan) ...

[spasie] signChef’s Table at [spasie] Underground ...

Go underground for an intimate food and wine pairing with some of the ...

table mountain chocolate 3Table Mountain Chocolate Bar Special

Buy five of the flat-topped bars and get one FREE when you mention CapeTownMag

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.