Dining Out, Featured

Reviewed: Piccolo Mondo’s Gourmet Dinner

Aug 26, 2019, Author: Candice May

Hello Joburgers, Shakespeare was onto something when he declared music the food of love. But, sometimes, food is the food of love – as seen at Piccolo Mondo’s monthly Gourmet Dinners. Whether you’re looking for a sensuous spot to impress a first date, a classy joint for an anniversary or just a year-round place to keep the fires of love from going completely cold, Piccolo Mondo has got something for every amorous encounter on these not-to-be-missed food and wine pairing evenings. 


My better half and I attended last month’s Gourmet Dinner with Alto, one of my personal favourite wine estates in Stellenbosch in the Cape. Surely the grandest and most glamorous of Legacy Hotels & Resorts’ restaurants in Sandton, Piccolo Mondo is a real humdinger and a shoo-in for seduction. The huge lobby bar is fabulous and serves up the most refreshing gin and tonics, but the vast baroque-style dining room, with its ornate over-stuffed sofas, richly patterned carpets, faux marble and stone architectural features in unexpected places, is even more alluring.  

The price per person is R625, which might seem high, but for a five-course meal with wine pairings – not to mention optional top-ups with every course – we think it’s exceptional value. Plus, the lights are low, and you can expect luscious indulgence from the off. Our meal started with a cold starter of harissa-spiced pork neck, an aubergine and feta parcel, paprika hummus and paprika oil paired with Alto Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. The next course was a soup course – traditional mulligatawny soup, a sweet potato and prawn cake, a spiced grilled prawn and mango atchar espuma paired with Alto Shiraz 2017. Both dishes, although very unexpected and different, were nothing short of exceptional. 


For mains, we were treated to a thyme and almond-crusted beef fillet, smoked BBQ short rib press, a corn and potato rosti, vanilla and corn purée and sweet BBQ jus paired with the well-known and well-loved Alto Rouge 2016. The dish truly highlighted the glorious flavour of beef and the crust was a textural sensation – as light as breadcrumbs, but with chunky almonds. Delicious! Next up was a Huguenot truckle cheese and olive quiche, bay leaf ice cream, olive and peppadew mousse, olive crisps and star aniseed biscuit paired with Alto Cabernet Sauvignon 2016. This course was the type of cheese and wine pairing you’d want to enjoy in front of the fireplace all winter long. 

Last but certainly not least was a chocolate and rosemary pudding, which made for an interesting combination for dessert, served with bitter chocolate sorbet and rosemary mousse and paired with Alto Rouge 2017. The rosemary was reminiscent of mint, but with a darker, earthier flavour. It was a perfect pairing to wrap up the feast! All in all, each course was outstanding – from the flavours and presentation, to the pairings and service. Executive chef Trevor Boyd is a culinary genius whose innovative dishes never fail to amaze us, and his ability to make them work with all red wines – that’s right, Alto produces red wines only – sure did impress us. 

Piccolo Mondo’s Gourmet Dinners are one of the best food and wine evenings that Joburg has to offer. Much more than just a tasting menu, it’s an experience that will wow you from start to finish – just make sure you’re prepared to settle in for a three- to four-hour-long dinner with lots of interesting talks from the chef and wine maker in-between. Our best advice is to book a room too and make a night of it. The hotel has fantastic package deals for the Gourmet Dinner evenings. You can thank us later! 


Be sure to like and follow Piccolo Mondo at the Michelangelo on Facebook for dates and booking information for the next Gourmet Dinner. 

The Michelangelo Hotel, 135 West Street, Sandton 

011 282 7463 

Facebook: @piccolomondomichelangelo 

Instagram: @piccolomondomichelangelo 

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