Don’t say we don’t bring you all the best news! Chef James Diack is opening a 4th restaurant in Parktown North – yay! Keep an eye out for Il Contadino which means ‘the farmer’ in Italian which is due to open in October!
Il Contadino will be nestled in the heart of Parktown North and will serve three farm-inspired meals a day. Its menu will be prepared as an ode to the rural or ‘peasant’ food from the Spanish, French and Italian countryside – some of James’ favourite places.
Dishes will be fresh, simple and rustic: roast chicken, slow-cooked pork, charcuterie boards, salads, homemade pasta and pizza from the in-house wood-fired oven – all using seasonal ingredients.
It will also be James’ most sustainable restaurant to date, with the menu designed to be entirely supplied by the Diack’s family farm, Brightside in the Magaliesburg.
“All three of my restaurants offer something different – Coobs is refined dining, The National is a neighbourhood dining room away from home, and The Federal is our take on a NY-style diner. But they all have one thing in common, seasonality,” says James. “Il Contadino will be the perfect spot for a morning coffee from the espresso bar, a light lunch or after-work drink.”
Over the last two years, James has worked exceptionally hard to become the go-to person for provenance. His restaurants have evolved to such an extent, that now 95% of everything on his menus comes off his family’s farm, Brightside, in the Magaliesburg. Il Contadino will be the first time James cracks the 100% mark.
As usual the wine list will be an extensive catalogue of boutique wine farms and those that share Diack’s passion for bespoke offerings including Garajeest, Blackwater, Beaumont and Alheit. Oh, and Aperol Spritz on tap – Hello Joburgers this makes us happy!
The 133m2 restaurant, located on the corner of 4th Avenue and 7th Avenue in Parktown North, will seat 90 and provide indoor and outdoor seating.
The interior design and décor process will once again be spearheaded by Janet Diack, James’ mother and farmer at Brightside Farm, so expect reclaimed and refurbished items that extend the farm-to-table concept from the plates to the walls, floors and furnishings.
It will also be friendly to the pocket, “I’m trying to build a restaurant that’s going to fit into where our economy’s going, so it’s not going to be expensive. I’m trying to keep prices down and keep things casual in every aspect: simple glassware, enamel plates, dishcloths for napkins. It’s going be fun and rustic, but not kitsch.”
For more information follow them on Instagram and Facebook – @ilcontadinojhb, or contact the Coobs team to make a booking – 011 447 0710.
Photo credits – The Joburg Foodie.
Hello Joburg was first published in April 1980 as a monthly restaurant and entertainment magazine. Over the years we have developed a network of patriotic Joburgers that love nothing more than sharing their experiences in this beautiful city!