Remo’s serving up a fresh take
With its unique decor and ambiance, plus an array of delights on the menu, it sets itself apart, writes Angela Daniels
“. . . [it] adds to the illusion you’ve left the Bay and stepped into a trattoria”
ASENSORY overload of a delightful variety seems the most apt way to describe Remo’s Port Elizabeth, a beautiful little restaurant tucked away in Alabaster Street. Before your eyes can even take in the gorgeous décor of the Baakens Valley eatery, your olfactory senses are awoken by the rich smells of authentic Italian dishes.
Once past the doorway, the restaurant’s impressively eclectic design has your eyes darting from corner to corner as there is just so much to see.
From the blue Vespa parked on the floor to the dozens of black-andwhite photographs adorning the walls, the establishment offers a unique experience for diners.
It also serves up just about everything foodies could want. Fresh ingredients, craft beer, Italian wines and cocktails and a delightful little deli offering cheeses, meats and pasta.
The staff are friendly without intruding and the higgledy-piggledy layout of the tables is delightfully quirky.
The sounds of clinking cutlery, happy laughs and Italian music adds to the illusion that you’ve actually left the Bay and stepped into a trattoria.
While definitely top quality, Remo’s Port Elizabeth has a casual, happy atmosphere which steers away from the more formal vibe of a Ristorante – a really good quality in my opinion.
Then there’s the food – simple, comforting and very tasty.
On our first visit we decided to try some of the antipasti on offer to start off with.
We opted for one of the cheeses and some ham (R45). It was delivered promptly, accompanied by home-made bread. All delicious with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar available on the table. Because I love to eat little bits of everything I’ll definitely be back to try more, perhaps as a meal on its own.
We weren’t able to try too much as we knew we’d be eating a full meal but what we had left me wanting more. For mains my husband and I both tried a pasta – a lasagne for him (R95) and a ham, pea and delicious sauce dish for me (R75).
It was an agonising decision as these gorgeous-looking pizzas were being carried out to tables all around us. We were not, however, disappointed.
Both dishes – yes I dipped a fork or two into my husband’s dish because who doesn’t – were fantastic from a flavour and presentation point of view.
I couldn’t actually find anything to fault and that’s pretty impressive as there is usually some little nit-picky qualm I have when visiting a restaurant.
Whether it’s a service problem, delays or the food not being quite what you expected, it’s rare to find everything to your liking when dining out.
But there you have it, there was absolutely nothing to complain about except for the fact that I couldn’t quite manage to try the one thing I had been eyeing since stepping into Remo’s. Perched on the bar were a stack of mouth-watering looking Bomboloni – Italian filled doughnuts – and while we were tempted to get stuck into one, the antipasti and mains had been so satisfying it just wasn’t possible.
A trip back for one of those is a must.
With Baakens Valley quickly becoming one of the city’s go-to food spots, Remo’s – formerly the popular Fratelli Foods – is a welcome addition.
The owners and staff, it would seem, are also keen to become a part of the burgeoning food market scene, taking part in events such as Food Truck Friday, creating Grana Padano Parmesan and pasta in a wheel housed on site.
It’s exciting to see food in Port Elizabeth playing such an important role in the revitalisation of Baakens Valley.
Remo’s Port Elizabeth and its special little neighbouring restaurants such as Friendly Stranger, and the many Food Truck events are just what the Bay needs to up its reputation as a city where food is woven into its very fabric.
As any self-respecting millennial who photographs their dinners and lunches before uploading them to social media will tell you, food is the new “it” thing.
Here’s to hoping Baakens Valley and its food offerings continue to grow and thrive.
Remo’s does not take bookings so if you arrive at a busy time such as between 6.30 and 7.30pm then you may not get a table – but you can enjoy a drink at the bar.
Its hours are from 7am to 4pm, seven days a week and open for dinner (until 10pm) only on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
This review was unannounced and paid for in full.
EYE CATCHING: Remo’s Port Elizabeth is a welcome addition to hip and happening Baakens Valley, and to the city as well