PIZZA Vesuvio is set in a Cape Town northern suburbs office park on a lake (formerly a quarry). With its surrounds far from romantic, it has done a great job of creating a spacious, rustic and comfortable interior with a faux authentic feel: raw brick, rough wooden tables, and old-world memorabilia.
A very limited wine list features local wines, at good prices. Wines by the glass are served in carafes, which is always a welcome touch. Service is alert, and the Italian family are visible in the background, prepping food and slinging pizza.
A very limited (and very well-priced) menu is a most promising sign in a South African Italian restaurant; here there's a handful of pizzas and a few pastas (these mostly not the usual suspects). The pizza is ultra-thin - rather too much so, so the cheese is not supported by the base and the result is an overwhelming oiliness. However, the toppings were of a good standard, as was the cheese - plus fresh minced garlic was brought to the table, not the usual diced, oxidised nastiness.
Pasta tagliatelle with pancetta and peas was very good, with a fine balance of flavour, and al dente. An excellent tiramisu to finish, one of the best I can recall, and good coffee make Pizza Vesuvio worth another look.
Canal Edge Walkway, Tygervalley Waterfront, Tygervalley (021) 914-1414.
. JP Rossouw is editor of Rossouw's Restaurants, the independent guide to dining in South Africa. All visits are made un announced and are paid for.