True Italic

It’s Amore at True Italic Authentic Italian Restaurant

Experience a real Italian taste sensation.
Open Tues - Fri: 18:00 - 22:00
Sat: 18:30 - 22:30 Closed Sun - Mon
 
+27 (0)21-418 7655
15 Bree Street, Cape Town
www.trueitalic.co.za
italic86@gmail.com
True Italic

It’s Amore at True Italic Authentic Italian Restaurant

This Cape Town osteria’s lovingly introducing locals to genuine Italian food

Some of humanity’s most profound ideas and greatest inventions were brought to life in Italy – humanism, condoms, aqueducts, ambulances, barometers, opera, jeans  – the list goes on and on. And then of course there’s Italian food. It seems that nearly everyone the world over is thankful for spaghetti and meatballs, pepperoni pizza, chicken parmigiana, fettucini alfredo... 

Everyone, that is, except for Italians themselves – who will passionately and unapologetically tell you that your mom’s spag bol, your favourite bacon and banana deep dish and everything listed above are about as Italian as a bad suit or indifference to soccer. 

“It’s really frustrating that the general public doesn’t know what real Italian food is,” laments Luca Di Pasquale, owner of True Italic restaurant in Cape Town’s city centre. “People tend to think it’s full of cream, that pastas are made with chicken or that pesto is used for everything. Incorrect!” 

As it turns out – or as Luca cheekily contends - what makes Italian food authentic is “simple: you need to be Italian”. What he really means of course is that when you grow up in Italy, you grow up in the kitchen, surrounded by traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation and within easy reach of the ingredients needed to make time-honoured dishes. “Everyone is cooking – your mother, your father, your grandmother, your grandfather – there’s a huge food culture. So it becomes easy for an Italian to approach a proper Italian kitchen.” 

Lucky for the uneducated masses, Luca, who was actually born in Johannesburg, grew up in Botswana and came of age of in Bologna (a large northern Italian city), returning to South Africa to set the record straight with his unfussy, laidback little Bree Street osteria (rustic restaurant). 

“I wanted to open a dinner place where you’ll find authentic Italian food and where you’ll find tradition,” he adds with a fair bit of gusto. 

So instead of bastardised pizzas or pasta with marinara sauce (by the way, to Italians marinara is a type of pizza), at True Italic you’ll find Campari-based cocktails, homemade Sicilian sausage, handmade pasta fresca, Luca’s sister Natasha’s freshly baked traditional Italian desserts, short espressos and antipasti boards stacked high with imported cured meats, typically Italian cheeses and foccacia. It’s an A-Z, full Italian experience with two Italians at the helm: the dinner menu, which is Luca’s pride and joy, changes daily. 

“It all depends on the vibe and how I wake up,” he says with a sly smile. “It keeps my job interesting and it keeps me experimenting on a daily basis.” 

So tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms might feature one day, spinach and ricotta gnocchi with butter and sage might grace the menu another night and beef tagliata with a mixed salad might be on the go the next evening, but one thing that remains the same is Luca’s commitment to fashioning the delicate strands of dough lovingly by hand each day. 

As he says, pasta fresca is the queen of pastas for the way that it exalts the sauce and for its meatiness, which is why he doesn’t mind wielding a rolling pin for hours at a time, day in and day out. Otherwise, the sauce, which Natasha calls the heart of the dish, is principle. It must be perfect for the marriage between the two elements to work. 

And for that, you need the freshest ingredients of the highest quality. This philosophy, which has really just recently become second nature to chefs across South Africa, comes as naturally to Italians as an impassioned hand gesture – and Luca is no exception. 

“Ingredients are fundamental – the freshness and the quality – if you compromise, you get that usual...” he trails off with a smile. 

Where he can source locally he does; he even admits to having found a Cape Town-based Neapolitan cheesemaker who conjures up ricotta that’s better even that’s what’s available in Bologna. But when he’s not confident that a certain ingredient is of a high enough standard in South Africa, he’s not afraid to import. For instance, Parma ham, whose taste is determined by the humidity, soil and wind in the area the pigs are farmed, he brings in as needed. 

Aside from the food itself, True Italic has incorporated a quaint spot downstairs named the Canteen Tarvenetta dei Poeti that emulates many of the saloon-style eateries sprawled across the boot-shaped country. This dimly lit, wood-panelled chamber is perfect for intimate gatherings of 10 to 40 patrons who can book it out for their own magical evenings filled with gourmet fare (a menu can be set up to suit the palates of those who have the venue for the evening), dazzling bubby and fond memories.

The X-factor ingredient to True Italic though is certainly Luca and Natasha themselves. And as Luca cooks what he’s been fed all his life, a meal at True Italic is a chance to pull up a seat at his nonna’s table or immerse yourself in the steady stream of food and conversation at a typical 20- to 30-person deep Sicilian Sunday meal. 

And what’s not to love about that? 

Tip: True Italic also has a takeaway deli element that allows customers to order a number of Luca’s handmade pasta frescas, imported meats or cheeses at great prices. Not to mention, once a month the osteria hosts a vibey jazz night; visit the True Italic Facebook page to see when the next event is scheduled. Finally, the Canteen Tarvenetta dei Poeti venue has a sound system and guests are more than welcome to bring in their own DJs at no additional cost. The canteen also does not charge a separate venue hire fee.

The Bill: Prices are slightly higher than those of most Italian restaurants, but then again, you’re paying for authenticity and quality. Pastas average around R100, mains run from about R120 to R150 and desserts ring in at between R25 and R45.

NOTE: True Italic is no longer trading for lunch.

---
Friends, family or date night Italian supper? Check out the all-you-can-eat pasta dinner special at RBG Grill & Bar in the Foreshore.

---
Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and if you have a smart phone, add m.capetownmagazine.com to your home screen for quick access on the go!

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle, connect with us on LinkedIn, check out our photos on Instagram and follow our Pinterest boards for updates on what’s happening in and around the Mother City!

Cape Town Events Calendar
January 2019
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

cartelbraai5Friday Lunch Sorted: Lekker Braai At ...

End off the working week with a braai under the umbrellas in Green Point – food's ready ...

LaParada20Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials ...

Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials with Happy Hour At La Parada

the_fort_food_truck_marketThe Fort Food Truck Market – Fridays ...

A new weekly arts, craft and food market with live entertainment, and a wine and beer ...

Galilieo_RupertSaturday Nights at The Galileo Open Air ...

Kick back, sip wine and relax with a country movie screening experience

silver_forestKick Off 2019 In Silver Forest's Lap Of ...

Who says that self endulgence needs to end after the festive season? Rejuvenate yourself ...

Jack BlackBeers and Bands at Jack Black Brewery ...

Every Friday night the Jack Black stage is lit up with local talent

La Paris_Bistro3Farm-Fresh Fare and Live Music Fridays ...

What an awesome vibe: Top Franschhoek chefs’ lunch favourite is now open till late (one ...

Wine FliesA Wine Tour Like No Other With Wine ...

Experience the best wines the Western Cape has to offer, all while having fun with Wine ...

camissatownship_newEmbark On A Township Eco-Friendly ...

Enjoy this interactive excursion to the bustling community of Langa

Glowing Rooms 3Get a Great Saving on 3D Mini-Golf with ...

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed glow-in-the-dark ...

Om Revolution vinyasa poseHave an Outdoor Yoga Experience with ...

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

Langarm The Fugard Theatre 4Award-winning David Kramer Brings ...

Some of South Africa’s most established stage performers take to the stage in this ...

Strolla Restaurant and Bar in Sea PointGet Irie On The Sunset Deck At Strolla ...

Live reggae music every Saturday at Strolla: sprawl out on the Corona Sunset Deck as the ...

OX Seals 04Smile: You Get 10% Off Seal Snorkelling ...

Up close with wild Cape fur seals in small, intimate excursions that are super special, ...

Cape Town Helicopters Generic NEW 3Fly Fridays: Helicopter Rides For Less

Want that extra-special experience to round off the week? These are the city’s most ...

Roast and Co Daily: Two Hours of 2-For-1 Specials at ...

Plus: Half-price on all “To Share” plates – see what’s on the menu here

hq friday feels HQ Friday Feels: Dinner and Dancing on ...

Chill jazzy beats while you enjoy dinner, then the dance floor opens at 9pm till late

Boschendal_FridayMarket2Fresh: Friday Night Market in the ...

Rain or shine: Now more farm-fresh food stalls and seating, plus: local music and great ...

KewpieAn Inspiring Message of Diversity and ...

The vibrant diversity of District Six comes alive with an exhibition about a famously ...

Park Inn_Rooftop1Friday Night Live DJ on the Rooftop at ...

Forget the traffic: watch the sun set to cool SA house vibes with after-work sundowners ...

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownSave on your kids’ birthday party ...

Make your kids’ birthday party extra special with outdoor laser tag with Battlefield ...

surfing muizenbergLearn To Surf Or Perfect Your Skills In ...

New to the surfing game? You’re in good hands at African Soul Surfer

African Soul Surfer Backpackers in Cape TownBook a Surf and Yoga Retreat at the ...

This week-long surf and yoga camp includes breakfast, accommodation and all your ...

Just Like Papa 1Just Like Papa: The Ultimate Place to ...

Finally, there’s a place in Cape Town where you can get exceptional home, camping, ...

Le Bonheur 10Snap up a Pizza and Reptile Adventure ...

Enjoy a delicious wood-fired pizza while taking a tour of the crocodile pond or the snake ...

Fire and Ice Weekend PartyParty in the Fire & Ice Hotel Lobby ...

Live DJ, killer cocktails, 38 gourmet milkshakes and the chance to meet exciting new ...

Kiff Kombi - Durbanville - 1Experience Cape Town's Most Spirited ...

All aboard, gin lovers! Here’s what to expect on a tour of Cape Town’s quaintest, ...

Cartel House 10Grab Yourself Free Flapjacks Every ...

Members only: Luxury co-working office space Cartel House serves up hot and fresh ...

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

Cloud 9 Hotel 3Spa and Sparkling Wine Special at ...

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

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