The building boasts a blend of Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture and is known as “The Grand Old Lady”. ‘La Gratitude’ has been gently and tastefully renovated to provide the home for Ernie Els’s new signature wine bar and restaurant.
The menu looked stellar, the wine list, of course, consisted mostly of local wines which is great – I love supporting proudly South African brands. This includes 170 wines, among which, the proprietors are Rupert wines with L’Ormarins and Anthonij Rupert wines; Rust en Vrede; Guardian Peak; Ernie Els Wines and Audacia Wines. The fifth partner of the restaurant owns Villa di Buona Speranza olive oil from Lucca in Italy which is especially imported for using at The Big Easy.
My friends and I tried out a local sparkling wine called L’Ormarins Brut Classique NV – which was refreshing and not too strong on the palette.
For starters, I ordered venison carpaccio which was amazing!! Being a great sized portion, the smoked venison was fresh as was the poached pear, roasted walnuts, beetroot puree and greenery around it.
As for mains I picked lamb cutlets which were one of the specials for the day, they were also delicious however slightly overcooked and the portion in which they were served was so big, that I was full just by looking at them. The sides that came with it were cauliflower mash which I found interesting, sundried tomatoes with grilled asparagus.
Dessert is generally my favourite and I ordered the trio of sorbet with berry compote and fresh berries. And since they didn’t have my favorite limoncello, this was followed by a hideous local digestif which I forgot the name of and hope to never be so unlucky as to taste it again.
Overall, I had a blast – the food was good, the service was too and the waiters searched far and near for a great table of our liking. The restaurant was also very clean, however the toilets did have a musky smell so maybe there is a moulding issue going on over there. But all in all, it is definitely worth a visit!