Graziella's Italian Restaurant

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Dunvegan Avenue, Dunvegan, Johannesburg, Gauteng

The place is exceptional and beautifully disorganised.


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Do most claimed authentic establishments meet this criteria, unfortunately not. However, on walking into Da Graziella on Sunday afternoon with my wife for what was promised to be an authentic Italian lunch, I was pretty much blown away! The place looks simple and old fashioned, the menu is a couple of typed pages in a plastic binder, serviettes are straight from the Pick ní Pay down the road and there are kids running around screaming at each other in Italian Ė it was exactly what I was looking for!

The place is exceptional and beautifully disorganised. The bread came after the starter while the drinks came after that. They make no excuse for that and why should they, you are not in Sandton and it makes the place that much more charming anyway. To be honest I canít stand perfectly efficient service, where they have you in and out in an hour. Thatís not what it should be about.

The food was amazing. For starters we shared these funny little deep fried rice balls with mice meat and mozzarella inside them. Main course was the Roast Rabbit for me (their most popular dish) and Napolitana Gnochi for my wife. I have never had rabbit before and although I felt bad for 5 minutes because a rabbit could be someoneís pet, I quickly forgot about that once that beautiful rich taste began permeating my taste buds, mmmm, my mouth is watering just replaying the moments in my mind!

Dessert was chocolate mousse and this long phyllo parcel filled with Ricotta, mixed fruits and some other stuff, WOW is all I can say!

The prices were great and nothing on the menu, including seafood dishes, is over R100. Rare these days!

I think what makes the place even more special is that it shows that there are still places where families and friends meet every week, share great food and wine, kids play together and the owners actually come and introduce themselves to you because you are new. This sense of the restaurant being part of the community has been completely lost amongst the trendy northern suburb eateries and although this place will probably never make it onto the top 20, it is has a real warmth and genuine ambience which none of those Michelin type of places can ever match.


Dunvegan Avenue, Dunvegan, Johannesburg, Gauteng

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Graziella's Italian Restaurant

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