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
October 2014
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

Red Bull Doodle Art Cape Town Global GalleryRed Bull Doodle Art Global Gallery in ...

Catch 27 of the world’s finest doodles at a free curated and interactive ...

Maboneng Township Arts Langa TagThe Langa TAG Township Arts Gallery Tour

Take a gander at local creations along this Cape Town township’s first ...

Creative coffee morningCreativeMornings Cape Town

One free hour of inspiration with social entrepreneur and Eco-Brick Exchange ...

Banff Mountain Film FestivalBanff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

Grab your popcorn and enjoy the world’s most inspiring and thought-provoking ...

Artists in Residence Concert Series at 15 on OrangeIntimate Just Jinjer Concert & Dinner ...

Get up close and personal with these massive music festival regulars at an ...

Matt Manning One Ingredient 7th FloorMatt Manning’s One Ingredient Pop-up ...

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

Marriage of Figaro 2The Marriage of Figaro Opera at the ...

Watch the magic of Mozart’s compositions come to life in this comic opera ...

Rocking Hollywood 5Barnyard Theatre’s Rocking Hollywood ...

Have a musical trip down memory lane with the brilliant cast of Rocking in ...

Spier Secret Festival Stellenbosch Food Market & ConferenceThe Secret Festival and Conference

Get insider info, tips and tricks from leading international and local ...

Oriental-Dance-Festival-2International Oriental Dance Festival

Shimmy and shake your way to this weekend belly dancing fair in support of a ...

Julep Cocktail BarHappy Hour Cocktails at Julep Bar

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

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 ...

Rocky Horror Picture Show FugardRocky Horror Show at the Fugard Theatre

The timeless musical returns to Cape Town to give fans another round of racy ...

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

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

Battlefield Live Corporate LogoTeam Building with Battlefield Live SA

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

Waterford wall 1Wine and Chocolate Tasting at Waterford ...

Pair sterling vintages with sweet treats at this world-class wine farm

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

Om Revolution garden yogaPrivate Yoga Classes Special from The ...

Save a whopping R300 when you sign up for six personalised yoga sessions aimed ...

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 ...

Free Biltong online shopping South AfricaFree-range Fridays in Cape Town

Celebrate your weekend freedom with ethically produced biltong and droëwors

Magents Shoes & Apparel Labels4lessMagents Sneakers & Clothing Sale in ...

Internationally acclaimed South African brand relaunches with a R50 discount ...

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

Cozier Wine Shop LogoFree Wine Tasting at Cozier Wine Cellars

Sample sublime reds, whites, pinks and more for mahala right in the bosom of ...

Food and wine tasting at La MotteFood and Wine Pairing at La Motte

Discover a match made in the divine tasting room of this Franschhoek estate

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips