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
January 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

Shadowclub at The AssemblyAssembly Presents: Shadowclub & Friends

Dance along to some moody rock ‘n’ roll courtesy of SA’s hottest blues ...

Up the Creek Breede RiverUp the Creek Music Festival

One river, three stages, four days, loads of local music and barrels of laughs

Cape Cobras Logo Cape Cobras Momentum One Day Cup ...

See our boys in blue and yellow go up against several provincial teams in this ...

Origin electronic dance festival 2013Origin Electronic Music Festival

Things are set to get seriously stomp-tastic at this three-day trance party ...

Othello at Maynardville Park Shakespeare in the Park at Maynardville ...

See Shakespeare’s well-known tale of passion, love and jealousy, Othello, ...

David Kramer's Orpheus in Africa 1 Orpheus in Africa at the Fugard Theatre

The new proudly South African musical from writer/ director David Kramer

Sammi Morales DJ at Shimmy Beach ClubFriday Anthems Party at Shimmy Beach ...

Cape Town’s premier oceanfront club pays homage to summer with a series of ...

Darling Music Experience Classical FestivalDarling Music Experience

This picturesque West Coast dorpie celebrates classical and contemporary ...

Oude Libertas Summer Music FestivalOude Libertas Summer Season Festival

Catch this series of Stellenbosch music concerts showcasing some of the finest ...

orchestra1Cape Town International Summer Music ...

Be entranced by some of classical music’s finest soloists at the Cape Town ...

Samsa-Masjien at the Baxter Theatre Samsa-masjien Play in Cape Town

The thought-provoking piece of local theatre that delves into Kafka’s ...

Stellenbosch Wine Festival LOGOStellenbosch Wine Festival

Enjoy the fruits of the Boland Winelands at this annual three-day ...

Barnyard Theatre Willowbridge 80s RewindBarnyard Theatre’s 80s Rewind Party

Take a trip down musical memory lane with this rocking fiesta

Fire and Ice Pool Shot Cape TownFriday Night DJ Sessions at Protea ...

Welcome the weekend with a free and funky party at the Mother City’s ...

Super Cool Beer Tour Bottles at Devil's PeakFree Beer Friday Special with Super ...

Embark on a fun Friday brewery excursion and get two lagers on the house

Dinner Club at Borage Bistro Cape TownFriday Dinner at Borage Bistro

Ease into the weekend with a superb supper at this urban-chic CBD eatery

Julep Cocktail BarHappy Hour Cocktails at Julep Bar

This speakeasy-type watering hole offers up a late-night drinks deal in Cape ...

Art of the Brick Lego ManThe Art of the Brick Lego Exhibition in ...

Don’t miss the world-renowned expo at the V&A Waterfront that transforms a ...

Battlefield Live Corporate LogoTeam Building with Battlefield Live SA

Corporates become commandos in this adrenaline-inducing, morale-boosting laser ...

Abbott Nu Jazz Band at SotanoFriday Jazz Dinner at Sotano

Start the weekend in style with soulful beats and supreme fare at this Atlantic ...

Wembley Tap Bar Craft Beer Beer Pong at Wembley Tap Bar

Mix ping pong with artisan ale at this industrial-chic house of beer every ...

HQ Friday night DJ Dance partyFriday Night DJ and Dancing at HQ ...

#AfterDark with DJ Rene: start the weekend with a steak dinner, stylish ...

Dutch Haven BarAfter-work Drinks and Live Music at ...

Enjoy an authentic Holland-style borreluur every Friday evening at this ...

The Springbok Experience Rugby Museum LogoThe Springbok Experience Museum’s ...

Visit this world-class Waterfront attraction and enjoy a free Castle draught at ...

Wine Flies Forgotten Route TourThe Forgotten Route Train Tour to ...

Take the road less travelled on a two-day adventure to the Klein Karoo

Richard's Bistro supper and stage Kaapstad“Kaapse Stories” at Richard’s ...

Supper and Stage make for a delectable evening’s entertainment

Outside of Peter's House on Kloof NekOpen Mic Night At Peter’s House

This cosy Tamboerskloof restaurant hosts a free intimate live performance ...

Marcel's Frozen Yoghurt BlizzardHow Awesome Would It Be If this Cape ...

We’ve reimagined some of the Mother City’s hotspots as cool and quirky ...

Tyrannosaurus Rex at Dinosaur ExhibitionDinosAlive Dinosaur Exhibition & Play ...

Grab the kiddies and jump back to the Jurassic period at this awesome ...

Diesel women's dresses sale from Labels4Less shopDiesel Jeans & Clothing Sale

Get an extra R50 off already marked-down designer denim, bags, belts, tops and ...

Dinner at Dish Restaurant Inn on the SquareBraai Lunch Special at Inn on the ...

Friday is braai day at this Cape Town accommodation’s laidback eatery

Vibe at the Hout Bay Harbour Market in Cape TownFriday Night at The Bay Harbour Market

Ring in the weekend with live music, craft beer, hearty fare and happy shopping ...

Glenelly 1Meat and Cheese Platters at Glenelly ...

A Stellenbosch wine tasting with true French finesse

Bright Day Art Classes in WoodstockCreative Corporate Team Building with ...

Harness the power of creativity at an edgy customised workshop

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips