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Rather than us telling you about ourselves, we prefer to quote the critics.

Do you recall Ilse Secchi from Gala days, first the deli in Esselen street and then the deli/diner in Brooklyn? She sold the business a few years ago and now she joined hands with another foodie, Marietjie Erik (now Gevers), the former head of TUT’s food department and also the person who opened their first Bouquet Garni restaurant many years ago.

“We are old friends”, says Marietjie. They have teamed up and opened the neighbourly Piccola Italia, an Italian bistro with a menu similar to that of Gala all those years ago, but with the added bonus of pizzas.

The menu features all the Italian favourites with specialities like Osso Bucco (oxtail in a sweet orange sauce or traditionally prepared), Spetzatino Picante (lamb in a spicy curry and herb sauce) or boned chicken breast stuffed with Parma ham, mozzarella and veal, all served with a choice of couscous, gnocchi or polenta.

We also offer smaller options like the freshly baked bread from their pizza oven served with different fillings.

The restaurant is up close and personal with only 10 tables (inside) which allows the two women to be hands on and intimate with their customers. In warmer weather, outside is also a good option.

It’s part of a shopping complex, s parking is safe and easy, their wine list is fair and the service is sweet.

On the food side, it’s only the best ingredients and no shortcuts.

We sampled a beautiful meal starting with a clever combo of antipasto and moving to home-made pastas like gnocchi pesto. It’s great quality and well priced.

They’re open Monday to Saturdays for lunch and dinner and for Sunday lunch.

~ Diane De Beer

Pretoria News Weekend

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