Allée Bleue’s Pizza & Pasta for a laid-back food and wine experience

Good food and good wine are to be had at Pasta & Pizza, you just need to take your own good company along.

South Africans are spoilt for choice when it comes to both food and accommodation on wine estates, not to mention the great diversity in wine and wine styles. When it comes to dining out, whether you’re into haute cuisine, fine dining or just simple, enjoyable feasting, you’ll find something to satisfy your taste.

We recently visited the Allée Bleue Wine Estate in the Franschhoek Wine Valley during a wine festival, and after tasting some of their excellent wines, we decided to have a light lunch. We were referred to their Pizza & Pasta diner by Ansgar Flaatten, Allée Bleue’s general manager, where we were seated outside on the large, covered patio overlooking vineyards and the majestic mountains that surround this beautiful valley.

A glass of Allée Bleue’s 2010 Brut MCC (R45) for my lady and a bottle of their 2013 Starlette Rosé (R67) for yours truly and we were ready to relax, put our feet up (in a manner of speaking) and have a laid-back lunch.

Our taste buds were first tantalized by mini basil pesto and sun-dried tomatoe loaves with four different pesto’s (pictured on the right). It was so nice (and there was some pesto left over) that I ordered two more mini loaves! Waste not, want not!

The love of my life ordered a bacon pizza, chorizo, parma ham and brie pizza topped with caramelised onions and Dijon mustard and a red wine reduction (R82, R3 short of the most expensive pizza) for mains while I settled for a classic puttanesca pasta with anchovies, olives and capers (R95), the most expensive item on the menu. The menu suggests Allée Bleue’s 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot to complement the pizza but as my wife doesn’t drink wine, she settled on her favourite soft drink, while the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc is suggested with the pasta. But I was sticking to my original choice as I enjoy the versatility of a dry rosé.

The menu is perfect for light lunches as it has 4 pizzas and 3 pasta dishes, and a host of Allée Bleue’s wines to complement the dishes. And you can order wine by the glass.

LEFT: The pizza and pasta with that delightful salmon coloured Starlette separating them.

The pizza came with a thin, crusty base and got a BIG green light of approval from my wife, while the savoury pasta and dry rosé combination was everything I was hoping for. And to add to this simple and flavourful feast, our waitress brought the salad trolley to our table and prepared each of us a fresh green salad, and I mean fresh ... and crisp. With some olive oil and balsamic vinegar as dressing, we were ready for the relaxing and enjoyable lunch we had been hoping for all week.

Sharon could not finish her pizza and decided to ask for a doggy bag, but I’m not known for giving up on a plate of delicious food and finished every last morsel on my plate.

Dessert was a decadently delicious date pudding with fruit sorbet (right), followed by good, strong coffee. We both hate it when a good meal is let down by a mediocre cup of coffee. It’s such a let-down, but at Pizza & Pasta the coffee matched the food and was a very appropriate end to a wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable “light” lunch.

Apart from its very relaxing atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, the service at Allée Bleue’s Pizza & Pasta is brisk and friendly. The diner is very family friendly and we were fortunate in sharing the venue with considerate families with well-disciplined kids.

We try not to go back to the same diner twice as there are so many on wine estates and at wine cellars to choose from, and such a great diversity, but we will certainly go back to Pizza & Pasta.