DARIO'S CAFÉ / ITALIAN RESTAURANT
6 B&C Victoria Avenue, Hout Bay
Tel: 021 791 0021
www.darioscafe.com | email@example.com
Open: Mon – Sat: 07h00 – 17h00; Sun: 08h00 – 16h00
Wi-Fi and plugs: Yes
3 electric vehicle charging station E-Bicycles welcome too
Coffee: Tomuecci blend
Dario and Rossella Mustarelli are quintessentially Italian and have created a little piece of Italy in Hout Bay. The walls are Ferrari red and you can smell the coffee and garlic as you enter. Dario engages you with his dark, brooding eyes while Rosella's froth of dark curls matches her bubbly personality. They met in Italy while working in different coffee bars on either side of the Trevi Fountains in Rome. In 2005 they moved to Cape Town and collaborated to open Dario's Café in 2007, and in 2009 they married.
Dario has spent many years learning about Italian cuisine and coffee and is responsible for training his baristas and staff. He is proud of his signature coffee, Cappuccino Scuro, which he describes as 'the dessert of coffees'. Dario only uses Tomuecci coffee blend, which he imports from the Aprila region in southern Italy. Tomuecci was established in 1883 and is steeped in tradition and flavour, much like Dario himself.
Rossella has created the recipes that fill the pages of their substantial menu. Every day, you will find her preparing her favourite lasagna, cooking fresh sauces or baking; but her signature dish is Piadina, a type of flat, unleavened bread served heated and toasted. It is a unique and delicious recipe that Rosella keeps close to her chest. There are other Italian favourites such as arancini, panzerotta, foccacias and pizza bianca.
In 2017 they expanded their premises, doubling in size and catering for kids at the back with a play area and outdoor seating and have introduced Roman style pizza, ‘Pizza al Taglio’ - Italian for pizza by the slice. They have also introduced real Italian ice-cream – yummy!
Cakes are home-make - the most popular are the carrot cake and the lemon meringue. Between 14h30 – 17h00, Dario offers any coffee and a slice of cake for R42. To add to the fun there will usually be tables of wizened Italians playing noisy rounds of a card game called Scopa. Could it get more authentic? Not likely!
While you are there:
•Visit the Hout Bay harbour where you'll find art and craft vendors, fresh fish for sale and the launches for boat trips (approximately one hour) to Seal Island.
•Stroll the 1km-long beach with gorgeous views of the bay (shoes off to cross the river).
• Drive and park at the Kronenzicht Dunes. It's a short walk to the spot that overlooks Sandy Bay beach and some shipwrecks that did not survive the weather off the Cape of Storms.
•What's close by: World renowned Chapman's Peak Drive links Hout Bay to Noordhoek. The views don't get better.